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A Novel Delivery System of an Antifungal Agent to Treat Nail Fungi Infections
Yeda R&D Co. Ltd Israel flag Israel
Abstract ID: 1430
Infections of foot and hand nails by fungi are a very common condition in millions of people. An infection by a nail fungus (onychomycosis) occurs when fungi from...
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Introduction/Background

Infections of foot and hand nails by fungi are a very common condition in millions of people. An infection by a nail fungus (onychomycosis) occurs when fungi from the Dermatophytes species infect one or more of nails. Onychomycosis usually begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of a fingernail or toenail. As the nail fungus spreads deeper into the nail, it may cause it to discolour, thicken and develop crumbling edges, an unsightly and potentially painful problem.

Infections of nail fungus account for about half of all nail disorders and are estimated to occur in over 10% of the population. These infections usually develop on nails continually exposed to warm, moist environments, such as sweaty shoes or shower floors. An infection with nail fungus may be difficult to treat, and infections may recur.

Some medications are available to help clear up nail fungus. Oral medications such as itraconazole (Sporanox®), fluconazole (Diflucan®), and terbinafine (Lamisil®) are available under prescription. However, oral antifungal drugs may cause side effects ranging from skin rashes to liver damage. Doctors may not recommend them for people with liver disease or congestive heart failure. The medications help a new nail grow free of infection and should be taken for six to 12 weeks, but the end result of treatment cannot be seen until the nail grows back completely. It may take four to 12 months to eliminate an infection. Recurrent infections are possible. Other treatment options include the use of antifungal lacquers and topical medications. For moderate infections of nail fungus, the Food and Drug Administration has approved a topical antifungal lacquer called ciclopirox (Penlac®), which is painted onto the infected nails and surrounding skin once a day. After seven days, the piled-on layers are cleaned with alcohol and a fresh application is started. Daily use of Penlac® for up to one year or longer has been shown to help clear nail fungal infections, but researchers found that it cured the infections in less than 10 percent of people using it. Another topical antifungal medication is econazole nitrate (Spectazole®).

Aims/Hypothesis

Hence there is a need for the development of improved anti-fungal treatments.

Research

Researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science have developed a novel delivery system based on the natural substance Allicin. Allicin is the principal biologically active molecule that is produced upon crushing of garlic cloves and is the substance responsible for the typical smell of freshly crushed garlic cloves. Allicin has been shown to have a very potent and broad range antifungal activity. Unfortunately, Allicin as a molecule is chemically unstable, sensitive to heat and has a short shelf life. These are the main reasons why there are no Allicin-containing antifungal products available for therapeutic uses. This novel delivery system was designed to overcome the above mentioned limitations of Allicin. The system produces Allicin topically which then permeates through the infected nail and after repeated applications it eradicates the fungi.

Conclusion

A novel delivery system has been developed of Allicin to treat nail fungi infections.

Relevance/Opportunity

This system can be utilized in a local anti-fungal therapy by incorporated into existing 'Band-Aid' type of bandages that can be placed on the infected nail. Please enquire quoting reference no. 1430.
FEATURED
Last Updated May 2015
Technology Type PLATFORM
Phase of Development PRECLINICAL
CORPORATION