Micafungin: A New Echinocandin

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Abstract

Micafungin, a potent inhibitor of 1,3-β-D-glucan synthase, has become the second available agent in the echinocandins class that is approved for use in clinical practice. This agent shares with caspofungin an identical spectrum of in vitro activity against Candida albicans, non-albicans species of Candida, and Aspergillus species, as well as several but not all pathogenic molds. If anything, its in vitro activity appears to be superior to that of caspofungin, although the clinical relevance of this observation is unclear. The clinical role of micafungin appears to be similar to that of caspofungin, although clinical data are still lacking at this stage, with initial approval only for treatment of esophageal candidiasis and prophylaxis in subjects with neutropenia. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies and reports of adverse effects and safety have reported similar but not identical results to those of other agents in the echinocandin class. Factors such as acquisition costs and the potential for resistance development may be more relevant to its widespread use than in vitro and in vivo data comparisons with caspofungin.

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