Schering-Plough got a green light in the USA yesterday for its broad-spectrum antifungal drug Noxafil Oral Suspension for patients 13 and older, who are at risk of developing invasive Aspergillus and Candida infections.

Noxafil (posaconazole) is the first antifungal agent approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the prevention of invasive fungal infections caused by Aspergillus species, according to S-P.

A report by market research company Datamonitor suggested that the worldwide market for systemic antifungals will grow from a level of around $3.3 billion in 2003 to almost $6 billion by 2014, driven by an increased incidence and severity of invasive fungal infections, combined with the launch of novel, premium priced antifungal products such as Noxafil.

Noxafil is already on the market in Europe, debuting in Germany last November. It is approved in Europe to treat serious, invasive fungal infections in adult patients who cannot be treated with first-line antifungal agents.

Invasive fungal infections, which can be life threatening, most often occur in people who are immunocompromised or immunosuppressed, such as organ transplant patients or cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or stem cell transplant.