Fexinidazole – A new oral nitroimidazole drug candidate entering clinical development for the treatment of sleeping sickness

by Torreele E, Bourdin Trunz B, Tweats D, Kaiser M, Brun R, Mazué G, Bray M A, Pécoul B. PLoS Negl Trop Dis, December 2010, 4(12). e923.

Summary: Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) is a fatal parasitic disease caused by trypanosomes. Current treatment options for HAT are scarce, toxic, no longer effective, or very difficult to administer, in particular for the advanced, fatal stage of the disease (stage 2, chronic HAT). Here it is shown that fexinidazole, a 2-substituted 5-nitroimidazole rediscovered by the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) after extensive compound mining efforts, could be a short-course, safe and effective oral treatment for both acute and chronic HAT and that could be implemented at the primary health care level.

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