Preclinical Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamic Target of SCY-078, a First-in-Class Orally Active Antifungal Glucan Synthesis Inhibitor, in Murine Models of Disseminated Candidiasis

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2017 Mar 24;61(4):e02068-16. doi: 10.1128/AAC.02068-16. Print 2017 Apr.


SCY-078 (MK-3118) is a novel, semisynthetic derivative of enfumafungin and represents the first compound of the triterpene class of antifungals. SCY-078 exhibits potent inhibition of β-(1,3)-d-glucan synthesis, an essential cell wall component of many pathogenic fungi, including Candida spp. and Aspergillus spp. SCY-078 is currently in phase 2 clinical development for the treatment of invasive fungal diseases. In vitro disposition studies to assess solubility, intestinal permeability, and metabolic stability were predictive of good oral bioavailability. Preclinical pharmacokinetic studies were consistent with once-daily administration to humans. After intravenous delivery, plasma clearance in rodents and dogs was low, representing <15% and <25% of hepatic blood flow, respectively. The terminal elimination-phase half-life was 5.5 to 8.7 h in rodents, and it was ∼9.3 h in dogs. The volume of distribution at steady-state was high (4.7 to 5.3 liters/kg), a finding suggestive of extensive tissue distribution. Exposure of SCY-078 in kidney tissue, a target organ for invasive fungal disease such as candidiasis, exceeded plasma by 20- to 25-fold for the area under the concentration-time curve from 0 h to infinity (AUC0-∞) and Cmax SCY-078 achieved efficacy endpoints following oral delivery across multiple murine models of disseminated candidiasis. The pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic indices Cmax/MIC and AUC/MIC correlated with outcome. Target therapeutic exposure, expressed as the plasma AUC0-24, was comparable across models, with an upper value of 11.2 μg·h/ml (15.4 μM·h); the corresponding mean value for free drug AUC/MIC was ∼0.75. Overall, these results demonstrate that SCY-078 has the oral and intravenous (i.v.) pharmacokinetic properties and potency in murine infection models of disseminated candidiasis to support further investigation as a novel i.v. and oral treatment for invasive fungal diseases.

Keywords: SCY-078; candidemia; fungal disease; pharmacokinetics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antifungal Agents / blood
  • Antifungal Agents / chemical synthesis
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Area Under Curve
  • Biological Availability
  • Caco-2 Cells
  • Candida albicans / drug effects*
  • Candida albicans / growth & development
  • Candida albicans / metabolism
  • Candidiasis / blood
  • Candidiasis / drug therapy*
  • Candidiasis / microbiology
  • Carboxylic Acids / blood
  • Carboxylic Acids / chemical synthesis
  • Carboxylic Acids / pharmacokinetics*
  • Cell Wall / drug effects
  • Cell Wall / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dogs
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Dosage Calculations
  • Female
  • Glucans / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Glucans / biosynthesis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Microsomes, Liver / drug effects
  • Microsomes, Liver / metabolism
  • Phenanthrenes / blood
  • Phenanthrenes / chemical synthesis
  • Phenanthrenes / pharmacokinetics*
  • Rats


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Carboxylic Acids
  • Glucans
  • Phenanthrenes

Supplementary concepts

  • Systemic candidiasis