New investigational antifungal agents for treating invasive fungal infections

Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2000 Aug;9(8):1797-813. doi: 10.1517/13543784.9.8.1797.


Systemic fungal infections have been recognised as a major cause of morbidity and mortality during the last two decades. There are only a few therapeutic options for these infections. Severe toxicity, such as impairment of renal function, limits the use of amphotericin B. Flucytosine is associated with side effects and drug resistance. Fluconazole and itraconazole are safer, though emergence of resistance and innate resistance in some fungal pathogens is a concern in their use. Therefore, there is a need for developing novel drugs and/or treatment strategies to combat these infections. In recent years, increased efforts by the pharmaceutical industry and academia have led to the discovery of new re-engineered or reconsidered antifungal agents that are more efficacious, safer and have a broad spectrum of activity. Lipid formulations of polyene antifungal agents, amphotericin B and nystatin, have the advantage of improved therapeutic index. Activity against resistant fungi, high bioavailability, safety and longer half-life are the properties that encourage development of the newer triazoles (e.g., voriconazole, ravuconazole and posaconazole). Echinocandin-like lipopeptide antibiotics are among the antifungal agents with a novel mode of action. In addition to these lead investigational compounds, development of newer antifungal agents is underway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Fungi / drug effects
  • Fungi / ultrastructure
  • Humans
  • Mycoses / drug therapy*
  • Mycoses / microbiology


  • Antifungal Agents