Ibrexafungerp for the Treatment of Vulvovaginal Candidiasis: Design, Development and Place in Therapy

Nancy A. Phillips, Maria Rocktashel, Lena Merjanian

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) is experienced by an estimated 75% of women at least once in their lifetime and is recurrent, defined as three or more infections per year (RVVC) in 5–9%. Candida albicans is the most common causative agent, but up to 19% of infections may be related to non-albicans species. Available treatment options for VVC have consisted of oral and topical azoles (except for topical nystatin, a polyene). Oral polyenes are not absorbed and therefore not effective for VVC. Fluconazole is the only oral medication FDA approved for VVC. None of these treatments are FDA approved for RVVC. Ibrexafungerp, a triterpenoid fungicidal agent, was FDA approved in 2021, becoming the first oral non-azole agent for VVC. Ibrexafungerp reaches concentrations up to 9-fold higher in vaginal tissues versus plasma. In Phase 2 clinical trials, ibrexafungerp had a clinical cure rate comparable to fluconazole at day 10, but significantly better at day 25. In Phase 3 clinical trials, ibrexafungerp had both a higher clinical and mycologic cure rate versus placebo at both days 10 and 25. In December 2022, Ibrexafungerp received FDA approval for once monthly dosing to decrease the incidence of RVVC. This approval was based on data from the CANDLE STUDY, which showed 65.4% resolution of symptoms and culture negative success through week 24, compared to 53.1% of placebo. Ibrexafungerp provides an alternative oral option for treatment of acute, severe VVC. It is the only FDA approved antifungal for RVVC. Currently, the population likely to benefit from this drug are those with azole allergy, non-albicans or azole resistant albicans species, or other azole contraindications such as drug interactions (like statins or tricyclics). Side effects are mostly gastrointestinal and mild in nature. Ibrexafungerp, like fluconazole, should be used with caution in women who are or may become pregnant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-367
Number of pages5
JournalDrug Design, Development and Therapy
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery


  • fungicidal
  • ibrexafungerp
  • recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis
  • vulvovaginal candidiasis
  • yeast infection


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