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Home » Drug Information » FDA Approved Drugs » 2001
Medical Areas: Immunology | Family Medicine | Infections and Infectious Diseases

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Cancidas

The following drug information is obtained from various newswires, published medical journal articles, and medical conference presentations.

Company: Merck
Approval Status: Approved January 2001
Treatment Area: Life-threatening fungal infections

General Information

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 antifungal therapies.

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 90 percent.

Clinical Results

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 therapies.

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.

Side Effects

Adverse events associated with the use of caspofungin acetate may include (but are not limited to) the following:


  • rash
  • facial swelling
  • itching
  • 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.

Additional Information

For additional information on Cancidas, please visit Cancidas.