PerspectiveInfectious Disease

How to bolster the antifungal pipeline

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Science  27 Mar 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6229, pp. 1414-1416
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa6097

Figures

  • Photomicrograph of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    This fungus causes life-threatening invasive and chronic aspergillosis as well as driving severe asthma. Although drug treatments exist, mortality remains high.

    PHOTO: BSIP SA/ALAMY
  • Antifungal drugs.

    With the exception of 5-flucytosine (the use of which is limited because of its narrow spectrum of activity and rapid development of resistance), all agents licensed for treating systemic fungal infection target cellular integrity. The pipeline of antifungal development is sparse, but it is promising that two compounds currently in clinical development are active against novel targets (nikkomycin Z, which targets chitin synthesis, and F901318, the novel target of which remains undisclosed) and that a number of preclinical agents target functions other than cellular integrity. GPI, glycosylphosphatidylinositol.

    ILLUSTRATIONS: (TOP) C. SMITH/SCIENCE AND V. ALTOUNIAN/SCIENCE; (BOTTOM) C. SMITH/SCIENCE

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