Cheaper Way to Make Antifungal Medication Used to Treat Meningitis

by Dr. Trupti Shirole on  February 3, 2017 at 4:57 PM Drug News
RSS Email Print This Page Comment bookmark
Font : A-A+

The fungal form of meningitis is rare and is usually caused by fungus spreading through blood to the spinal cord. It leads to more than 600,000 deaths in Africa every year and is responsible for 20% of HIV/AIDS-related deaths globally, suggests the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
 Cheaper Way to Make Antifungal Medication Used to Treat Meningitis
Cheaper Way to Make Antifungal Medication Used to Treat Meningitis

An existing medicine could help curb these numbers, but its cost has been a barrier to access in some places. Now, scientists report in the ACS journal Organic Process Research & Development a more affordable way to make the drug.

The antifungal flucytosine has been available to patients in the U.S. for decades. In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that patients with Cryptococcal meningitis, an infection of particular concern to people with HIV/AIDS, take flucytosine in combination with amphotericin B as a first line of defense.

Flucytosine is now on WHO's Core List of Essential Medicines. However, the drug is not registered for use in many African countries, according to the non-profit Doctors without Borders, and where it is available, many patients can't afford it. Currently, making the drug requires a multiple-step process that involves fluorination, chlorination, amination and hydrolysis from uracil.

To help slash flucytosine's price tag and improve its availability, Graham Sandford and colleagues at Durham University in the U.K. wanted to come up with a simpler, lower cost way to make the drug.

The researchers developed a one-step technique to make flucytosine out of readily available, naturally occurring cytosine. Their process involved simultaneously pumping inexpensive fluorine gas and a solution of cytosine in formic acid through a steel tube. This fluorinated all of the starting cytosine, and the researchers were able to isolate high yields of the resulting flucytosine by recrystallization.

The researchers say the method should be simple to scale up for manufacturing and could help lower the drug's cost. The one-step method has been successfully developed to pilot-scale by industrial collaborators Sanofi-Aventis and La Maison Européenne des Procédés Innovants in France.

Source: Eurekalert

Post a Comment

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
Notify me when reply is posted
I agree to the terms and conditions

More News on:

Drug Toxicity Hib Vaccine Meningitis Healthy Living Valley Fever 

News A - Z

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

News Search

Medindia Newsletters

Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Find a Doctor

Stay Connected

  • Available on the Android Market
  • Available on the App Store

News Category

News Archive

Loading...