ARTICLE | Product Development

Cracking antifungals

May 31, 2004 7:00 AM UTC

For decades, the mainstays for treating fungal infections have come from two compound classes: azoles, which were introduced in the late 1960s, and polyenes, which were introduced in the 1950s. Today, there are two additional drug classes plus a few miscellaneous drugs approved to treat fungal infections. However, none of them are without shortcomings, such as a narrow spectrum of activity, toxicity, poor pharmacokinetics, or fungistatic activity.

In the past, the antifungal space did not provide a major market opportunity, limiting efforts to overcome these shortcomings. Now, with an increasing number of immunocom-promised transplant, cancer and HIV patients, interest in potent antifungals has increased. A growing number of companies are looking at either improving existing treatments or developing fungicidal compounds based on novel mechanisms...