Home » Drug Information » FDA Approved Drugs » 2001
Medical Areas: Immunology | Family Medicine | Infections and Infectious Diseases
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The following drug information is obtained from various newswires, published
medical journal articles, and medical conference presentations.
Approval Status: Approved January 2001
Treatment Area: Life-threatening fungal infections
Cancidas is the first in a new class of antifungals, called
echinocandins, to be introduced in more than a decade. This
medication is approved for the intravenous treatment of invasive
aspergillosis in patients who have not responded to standard
Aspergillosis is a life-threatening fungal infection most
commonly seen in cancer patients, organ and bone marrow transplant
recipients, and HIV/AIDS patients. It affects the lungs and can
spread through the bloodstream to other parts of the body.
Mortality rates in those with severe aspergillosis range from 50 to
The effectiveness of Cancidas was assessed in a small,
multi-center, open-label, non-comparative study involving 69
patients with invasive aspergillosis. Patients were between the
ages of 18 and 80 and had been intolerant to other antifungal
A favorable response to Cancidas treatment was defined as either
complete response or clinically meaningful improvement and was
determined by an independent expert panel. The panel determined
that 41% of patients who received at least one dose of Cancidas
elicited a favorable response and those receiving more than seven
days of treatment had a 50% favorable response rate.
Adverse events associated with the use of caspofungin acetate
may include (but are not limited to) the following:
- facial swelling
- sensation of warmth
Mechanism of Action
Cancidas (caspofungin acetate) is a glucan synthesis inhibitor.
Glucan is an essential component of the cell wall of susceptible
filamentous fungi, such as Aspergillus fumigatus, the fungus
responsible for aspergillosis infection.
For additional information on Cancidas, please visit