Potential drug development candidates for human soil-transmitted helminthiases.
Olliaro P., Seiler J., Kuesel A., Horton J., Clark JN., Don R., Keiser J.
BackgroundFew drugs are available for soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH); the benzimidazoles albendazole and mebendazole are the only drugs being used for preventive chemotherapy as they can be given in one single dose with no weight adjustment. While generally safe and effective in reducing intensity of infection, they are contra-indicated in first-trimester pregnancy and have suboptimal efficacy against Trichuris trichiura. In addition, drug resistance is a threat. It is therefore important to find alternatives.MethodologyWe searched the literature and the animal health marketed products and pipeline for potential drug development candidates. Recently registered veterinary products offer advantages in that they have undergone extensive and rigorous animal testing, thus reducing the risk, cost and time to approval for human trials. For selected compounds, we retrieved and summarised publicly available information (through US Freedom of Information (FoI) statements, European Public Assessment Reports (EPAR) and published literature). Concomitantly, we developed a target product profile (TPP) against which the products were compared.Principal findingsThe paper summarizes the general findings including various classes of compounds, and more specific information on two veterinary anthelmintics (monepantel, emodepside) and nitazoxanide, an antiprotozoal drug, compiled from the EMA EPAR and FDA registration files.Conclusions/significanceFew of the compounds already approved for use in human or animal medicine qualify for development track decision. Fast-tracking to approval for human studies may be possible for veterinary compounds like emodepside and monepantel, but additional information remains to be acquired before an informed decision can be made.