Potential indication of Amiodarone as a broad-spectrum antifungal agent


The present invention relates to methods of treating fungal infections and methods of killing or inhibiting growth of fungi with an amiodarone compound.


Led by William Courchesne, the team at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology focuses on calcium metabolism in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, as well as on the molecular mechanism of amiodarone, a novel antifungal agent that they have identified.

Technology Summary

Fungal infections are common in patients that are immunocompromised, such as those with AIDS or those undergoing cancer chemotherapy. There is a need for the identification of novel antifungals to complement the limitations of the current repertoire of antifungals which exhibits serious side effects, and the appearance of resistant fungal strains. The team has identified a novel antifungal activity for the FDA approved antiarrhythmic drug, amiodarone. The invention provides methods of treating a subject suffering from a fungal infection by administering a therapeutically effective amount of an amiodarone compound, either intravenously, orally, or topically. The amiodarone compound exhibits a method of killing or inhibiting growth for a range of different fungi, including species of Cryptococcus (specifically Cryptococcus neoformans), Saccharomyces, Aspergillus, Candida, and Fusarium. The growth-inhibitory effect was shown to be fungicidal against Cryptococcus, resulting in about 90% killing within approximately one hour of treatment. The compound can be administered alone or in conjunction with other known antifungal agents, such as azoles. When administered jointly, the administration of an amiodarone compound may reduce the amount of amiodarone compound and/or antifungal agent needed for effective therapy. This then limits the potential toxic response and/or the high cost of treatment, and may also enhance or accelerate the effect of such agents.

Potential Applications

  • Intravenous, oral, or topical treatment of fungal infections
  • In vitro applications such as decontaminate fluids and surfaces and to sterilize surgical and other medical equipment and implantable devices such as prosthetic joints and indwelling invasive devices.
  • Agrochemical applications


University of Nevada, Reno is seeking expressions of interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize this technology.

IP Status

UNR ID#: UNR01-007
US Patent No.: 6,221,903


Characterization of a Novel, Broad-Based Fungicidal Activity for the Antiarrhythmic Drug Amiodarone

Amiodarone induces a caffeine-inhibited, MID1-depedent rise in free cytoplasmic calcium in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Amiodarone induces stress responses and calcium flux mediated by the cell wall in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Synthesis and antifungal activity of derivatives of 2- and 3- benzofurancarboxylic acids

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Dan Langford
Technology Commercialization, Manager
University of Nevada, Reno and Desert Research Institute
William Courchesne