Friday, 4 July 2014

$32 million for New Antifungal Drug Development & New Antifungal Treatment Strategies

K2 therapeutics was only founded 2 years ago in San Diego, California with $6 million funding and has successfully developed a candidate for a new antifungal drug referred to as Biafungin. Much is unknown outside the company about this new compound but early testing has provided sufficient encouragement for new investors to fund a further $32 million.

Enhanced stability of Biafungin


A principle advantage of this compound over drugs already beign used include its very long half life - this should allow it to be given only once per week instead of daily IV doses currently necessary for the most recently developed echinocandin Anidulafungin. This will save on costs for hospitals, minimise infection potential and make life more pleasant for the patient - it may also be a useful alternative to azole drugs for those patients who cannot take azoles.

Biafungin is an echinocandin, so it would be a useful addition if it gets through to market as we are beginning to see significant resistance developing to azole antifungals in many clinics that treat serious fungal infections such as aspergillosis. There are however several barriers to this new compound becoming a useful drug  as it has to go through several stages of clinical testing first, but clearly its investors think it is showing enough potential for them to take the risk! Phase 1 trials begin in 2015.



K2 have also developed a second compound named 'Cloudbreak' that seems to improve the targeting of parts of our immune system to enable a more active attack on a fungal infection. If this is confirmed using in vivo experiments it will be a novel approach to treating fungal infections, potentially offering a completely new weapon in the war against Aspergillus and other invading fungi.

K2 therapeutics have become Cidara Therapeutics Inc. as a result of this investment.

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