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Identification of Thiazoyl Guanidine Derivatives as Novel Antifungal Agents Inhibiting Ergosterol Biosynthesis for Treatment of Invasive Fungal Infections

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posted on 30.06.2021, 09:03 authored by Issei Kato, Yuuta Ukai, Noriyasu Kondo, Kohei Nozu, Chiaki Kimura, Kumi Hashimoto, Eri Mizusawa, Hideki Maki, Akira Naito, Makoto Kawai
Invasive fungal infections (IFIs) are fatal infections, but treatment options are limited. The clinical efficacies of existing drugs are unsatisfactory because of side effects, drug–drug interaction, unfavorable pharmacokinetic profiles, and emerging drug-resistant fungi. Therefore, the development of antifungal drugs with a new mechanism is an urgent issue. Herein, we report novel aryl guanidine antifungal agents, which inhibit a novel target enzyme in the ergosterol biosynthesis pathway. Structure–activity relationship development and property optimization by reducing lipophilicity led to the discovery of 6h, which showed potent antifungal activity against Aspergillus fumigatus in the presence of serum, improved metabolic stability, and PK properties. In the murine systemic A. fumigatus infection model, 6h exhibited antifungal efficacy equivalent to voriconazole (1e). Furthermore, owing to the inhibition of a novel target in the ergosterol biosynthesis pathway, 6h showed antifungal activity against azole-resistant A. fumigatus.