Journal article Open Access

Clinical status of agents being developed for leishmaniasis

Berman, Jonathan

Leishmaniasis, which exists in both visceral and cutaneous forms, is currently treated with intramuscular antimony or intravenous amphotericin B. The primary unmet need is for oral therapy. Of the several drugs in clinical development, miltefosine is unique in being an oral agent with efficacy against both forms of the disease. Sitamaquine is an oral agent with substantial but not sufficient efficacy against visceral disease. Oral fluconazole has been shown to be more effective than placebo in one instance: for Leishmania major cutaneous disease from Saudi Arabia. Paromomycin is in widespread trial. Topical paromomycin formulations are being tested for cutaneous disease, and intramuscular paromomycin is in Phase III trial for Indian visceral disease. The most likely replacements for present therapy are oral miltefosine for many of the visceral and cutaneous syndromes, intramuscular paromomycin for visceral disease and topical paromomycin for some forms of cutaneous disease.

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