Human Antifungal

Hexima has initiated a program to apply its antifungal peptide technology to human fungal disease. This program uses knowledge and IP developed as part of the Plant Fungal Disease program. Hexima has identified several antifungal peptides that have potent activity against human fungal pathogens including the yeast pathogen Candida albicans and dermatophytes such as Trichophyton rubrum. T. rubrum causes 90% of fungal nail infections (onychomycosis), an affliction that affects up to 10% of the population. What’s more, there are no effective treatments for this condition. Topical treatments have very low efficacy rates because they cannot effectively penetrate that nail and oral treatments can cause severe side-effects including liver toxicity. Hexima’s AFPs have several advantages over current therapies. They are fungicidal meaning they kill fungal pathogens rather than just inhibiting growth. They are also able to efficiently penetrate human nails to accumulate in the nail bed, the main site of infection. Combined, these attributes make plant defensins excellent candidates for development of a fast, effective topical treatment for onychomycosis.