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Expert Opin Ther Pat. 2011 Mar;21(3):381-97. doi: 10.1517/13543776.2011.551116. Epub 2011 Jan 18.

Novel small molecules for the treatment of infections caused by Candida albicans: a patent review (2002-2010).

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University of Florence, Department of Chemistry Ugo Schiff, Polo Scientifico e Tecnologico, Via della Lastruccia 13, I-50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Florence, Italy.



The fungal pathogen Candida albicans is one of the leading causes of infections affecting immunodeficient individuals, including those HIV-infected and patients undergoing cancer therapy. Emerging problems in terms of therapeutic efficacy and drug resistance have highlighted the need to consider new therapeutic approaches, based on the exploitation of virulence factors as alternatives to conventional drug targets.


Advances in the development of anti-Candida drugs are examined in this review, as reflected by the patent literature since 2002 along with selected peer-reviewed publications. Taking into account a total of 26 patents, the discussion encompasses several therapeutic approaches, including azoles as ergosterol biosynthesis inhibitors, glucan and chitin synthase inhibitors, and secreted aspartyl protease inhibitors.


New analogs of existing drugs are being developed as broad spectrum antifungals to improve efficacy and circumvent drug resistance. Also, candidate drugs targeting new virulence factors are promising to overcome limitations due to poor efficacy and the rising of drug resistance observed for several available drugs. Efforts for the discovery and development of antifungal agents should be equivalent to other therapeutic areas, and advances in the generation of therapeutic agents with fungus-specific mechanisms of action are of highest priority.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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