New beta-glucan inhibitors as antifungal drugs.

Article Details


Hector RF, Bierer DE

New beta-glucan inhibitors as antifungal drugs.

Expert Opin Ther Pat. 2011 Oct;21(10):1597-610. doi: 10.1517/13543776.2011.603899. Epub 2011 Jul 25.

PubMed ID
21787240 [ View in PubMed

INTRODUCTION: New classes of synthetic and semi-synthetic beta-glucan inhibitors have recently emerged, providing analogs that, in some cases, have been proven to have a high degree of activity against fungi, offering the prospect of alternatives to the commercially available lipopeptide/echinocandin agents caspofungin, micafungin and anidulafungin. AREA COVERED: This review covers applications disclosing compound classes that include synthetic pyridazinone analogs, bicyclic heteroaryl ring compounds, aniline derivates, and semi-synthetic echinocandin and enfumafungin derivatives. MK-3118 is an analog of the natural product enfumafungin that, in particular, shows promise as it has a spectrum of activity comparable with caspofungin but has the advantageous property of oral bioavailability. EXPERT OPINION: The diversity of chemical classes in the present review, which have demonstrable activity against beta-glucan and the prospect of oral bioavailability, offers hope that safe and effective antifungal drugs will emerge and be commercialized. Of particular note, the Merck compound MK-3118, with solid evidence of efficacy based on preclinical data, has moved into clinical trials.

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