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The Antifungal Pipeline: Fosmanogepix, Ibrexafungerp, Olorofim, Opelconazole, and Rezafungin


The epidemiology of invasive fungal infections is changing, with new populations at risk and the emergence of resistance caused by the selective pressure from increased usage of antifungal agents in prophylaxis, empiric therapy, and agriculture. Limited antifungal therapeutic options are further challenged by drug-drug interactions, toxicity, and constraints in administration routes. Despite the need for more antifungal drug options, no new classes of antifungal drugs have become available over the last 2 decades, and only one single new agent from a known antifungal class has been approved in the last decade. Nevertheless, there is hope on the horizon, with a number of new antifungal classes in late-stage clinical development. In this review, we describe the mechanisms of drug resistance employed by fungi and extensively discuss the most promising drugs in development, including fosmanogepix (a novel Gwt1 enzyme inhibitor), ibrexafungerp (a first-in-class triterpenoid), olorofim (a novel dihyroorotate dehydrogenase enzyme inhibitor), opelconazole (a novel triazole optimized for inhalation), and rezafungin (an echinocandin designed to be dosed once weekly). We focus on the mechanism of action and pharmacokinetics, as well as the spectrum of activity and stages of clinical development. We also highlight the potential future role of these drugs and unmet needs.

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