Potential Drug Development Candidates for Human Soil-Transmitted Helminthiases


There are few drugs - none ideal - for the treatment and control of gastrointestinal helminths (soil-transmitted nematodes) which, as chronic infections jeopardize children's growth, learning and ultimately individual, community and country development. Drugs for helminths are not attractive in human medicine, but are lucrative in animal health. Traditionally, investment in veterinary medicines has benefited humans for these diseases. With modern regulations, an approved veterinary medicine can be tested in humans with little adaptation, reducing time and cost of development. We searched for products that could easily be transitioned into humans, having the necessary characteristics for use in communities exposed to these infections. A limited number of candidates met the main criteria for selection. We provide here a detailed analysis of two veterinary products, emodepside and monepantel, and nitazoxanide, that are approved for human use. In addition we include a less detailed analysis of all products examined, and the criteria on which the analysis was based. It is clear that the pipeline of easily obtainable human anthelminthics remains extremely limited, and further efforts are needed to find replacements for the inadequate number of products available today.


Olliaro, P.; Seiler, J.; Kuesel, A.; Horton, J.; Clark, J.N.; Don, R.; Keiser, J. Potential Drug Development Candidates for Human Soil-Transmitted Helminthiases. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases (2011) 5 (6) e1138. [DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0001138]

Potential Drug Development Candidates for Human Soil-Transmitted Helminthiases

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