Novel Modalities for the Treatment of Cryptococcal Meningitis

Case ID:

This invention is the repurposing of oxfendazole, an FDA-approved veterinary anthelmintic benzimidazole and its novel oral bioavailability enhancing formulations for the oral treatment of cryptococcal meningitis. The oxfendazole ionic liquid containing nano formulations can lead to the development of low-cost oral treatment for cryptococcal meningitis.

Cryptococcal meningitis is a severe fungal infection of the central nervous system. Worldwide, nearly 220,000 new cases of cryptococcal meningitis occur each year, resulting in an estimated 181,000 deaths. Most of the illness and deaths are estimated to occur in resource-limited countries, among people living with HIV. Improved access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) globally has helped improve the immune systems of many HIV patients so that they are not at increased risk of cryptococcal meningitis. However, cryptococcal meningitis is still a major problem where HIV prevalence is high and where access to healthcare may be limited. This infection is extremely life threatening and has a high mortality rate. Despite the severity of the condition, there are few, if any, effective therapeutic options depending on the severity.

Oxfendazole is a veterinary anthelmintic benzimidazole for the treatment of parasitic worms. The need for affordable antifungals to combat cryptococcal disease is unquestionable. Benzimidazoles are potentially attractive antifungal compounds that were introduced in clinical practice nearly 60 years ago to treat helminthic infections. In addition to being safe, their cost of treatment is extraordinarily low. Several studies suggested benzimidazoles as promising anticryptococcal agents combining low-cost and high antifungal efficacy. New formulations of oxfendazole have demonstrated improved oral bioavailability that can treat cryptococcal meningitis.


  • Treatment of cryptococcal meningitis


  • Low cost
  • Oral delivery
  • FDA-approved (safe)
  • Will increase treatability of the condition
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Garrett Edmunds
Licensing Manager, UAHS-TLA
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Abhijit Date
Yogesh Sutar
Kirsten Nielsen