Hyderabad: Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad researchers have developed a method to produce controlled-release oral tablets for treating fungal infections and leishmaniasis (kala azar or black fever) that are prevalent in the country. Their tablets were found to release the drug Amphotericin B in a sustained and controlled manner over a period of 10 days.
Amphotericin B (AmB) is the drug of choice for progressive and potentially life-threatening fungal infections of the abdomen and heart valves, fungal pneumonia, and leishmaniasis, a neglected tropical disease. It is used to treat Kala Azar or black fever, a dangerous and often fatal form of Leishmaniasis, common among the economically underprivileged sections in states such as Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.
The development of oral, controlled release tablets for fatal fungal infections and leishmaniasis, could help in better management of the disease burden in the country. The development of cures for dangerous fungal diseases and leishmania has been challenging. Prof. Brahmchari who first used an antimony compound for treating kala azar in the nineteen twenties was even nominated for the Nobel Prize in 1929.
The disadvantages associated with AmB include high cost, toxicity and poor bioavailability (<0.9%). Amb is administered through injection, which results in uncontrolled release of the drug into the blood stream. There have been attempts to make oral medication containing AmB to control the delivery of the drug and bring down costs.
In order to make controlled-release oral tablets, the drug molecules must be loaded onto a base that dissolves gradually to release the drug over a period of time.
Antifungal activity of nanofibers based oral tablet.