New generation azole antifungals in clinical investigation

Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2009 Sep;18(9):1279-95. doi: 10.1517/13543780903176407.


Considerable progress in treating systemic mycoses has been achieved in the past years through development of new drugs in association with more advanced diagnostic procedures. Here, we review the pharmacological, microbiological and clinical development progress with the so-called 'second generation' triazoles: voriconazole, posaconazole, ravuconazole, isavuconazole and albaconazole. All these drugs exhibit a favourable pharmacokinetic and toxicity profile and possess high activity against resistant and emerging pathogens. However, only voriconazole and posaconazole have been adequately investigated in Phase III studies and have been approved by the regulatory agencies in the treatment and prophylaxis of invasive fungal infections, respectively. On the contrary, ravuconazole, isavuconazole and albaconazole have not been investigated in adequate clinical trials and, in the absence of proper data, the real possibilities of these agents as competitors for the treatment and prevention of invasive mycoses in the clinical setting are still unknown. The drug interactions and the variability in the absorption and/or metabolism of the triazoles, in particular voriconazole and posaconazole, may determine an unpredictable exposure of the pathogens to the antifungal treatments. Literature evidences strongly support the use of therapeutic drug monitoring for these triazoles which may be crucial for the proper management of severe invasive fungal infections.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antifungal Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antifungal Agents / adverse effects
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Aspergillus / drug effects
  • Azoles / administration & dosage
  • Azoles / adverse effects
  • Azoles / pharmacokinetics
  • Azoles / therapeutic use*
  • Candida / drug effects
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cryptococcus neoformans / drug effects
  • Drug Design*
  • Drug Interactions
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Mycoses / drug therapy
  • Mycoses / microbiology


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Azoles