A consortium of leading scientists and institutions in Africa and Europe, the 5FC HIV-Crypto consortium, has launched a project that aims to deliver an improved formulation of lifesaving treatment for cryptococcal meningitis. This fungal disease is an important cause of morbidity and mortality among people with advanced HIV disease and accounts for an estimated 15% of all HIV-related deaths globally, of which three quarters occur in sub-Saharan Africa.

Left untreated, fungal meningitis is fatal, but with early and optimal treatment over 70 percent of people can survive. Flucytosine is a key drug which is used within a combination of treatments. The 5FC HIV-Crypto consortium recently launched a phase I study to develop a sustained release formulation of the existing treatment, known as flucytosine (5FC SR). This new formulation would only need to be administered twice a day compared to the current treatment of four times a day.

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