New Antifungal Drug Launched by Astellas

Isavuconazonium sulfate (Cresemba) is now available to treat 2 rare yet life-threatening fungal infections.

Astellas’ isavuconazonium sulfate (Cresemba) is now available to treat 2 rare yet life-threatening fungal infections.

The FDA approved Cresemba for the treatment of adult patients with invasive aspergillosis and invasive mucormycosis last month. Both infections predominantly occur in patients with weakened immune systems and are associated with high morbidity and mortality.

“The launch of Cresemba in the US marks the availability of an important new treatment option for patients and health care professionals fighting these life-threatening fungal infections,” said Bernie Zeiher, MD, divisional president and head of Global Development at Astellas, in a press release. “Given the high morbidity and mortality rates associated with invasive aspergillosis and invasive mucormycosis, we are excited to provide physicians and patients with this alternative therapy in an area of significant unmet medical need.”

The antifungal drug is available in both oral and intravenous formulations but contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to isavuconazole. Coadministration of Cresemba with strong CYP3A4 inhibitors or inducers is also contraindicated because both drug classes can significantly impact the plasma concentration of isavuconazole.

The most common adverse events associated with Cresemba treatment are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, elevated liver chemistry test results, hypokalemia, constipation, dyspnea, cough, peripheral edema, and back pain.