By Amanda Moises
Researchers from the University of Liverpool and F2G Limited, a biotechnology company focused on the treatment of invasive fungal infections, have developed a new class of antifungal drugs known as orotomides. The orotomides have a unique mechanism of action by which they biochemically interact with the infection. Prior to this development, no new classes of antifungal agents had been discovered in the past thirty years. The most promising of these drugs was termed F901318, which is in the process of being developed for clinical use. The researchers’ work is crucial in determining what dosage of F901318 the first patients of the clinical study can receive. Without this information, agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration would be unable to allow any clinical trials to proceed.
Invasive fungal infections often affect patients with leukemia who receive bone marrow transplantations as well as people with otherwise curable diseases. These infections, such as invasive aspergillosis, can be lethal even with the best medical care. In fact, the mortality rate is 20-30% after six weeks and rises to 80-100% with drug-resistant infections (University of Liverpool). The researchers are hopeful that their breakthrough will help in the fight against antifungal resistance, which is a significant issue in global health. If this new treatment is successful, the mortality of life-threatening invasive fungal infections may be significantly lowered.
University of Liverpool. (2017, October 6). New antifungal drug. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 9, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171006101814.htm