Valley Fever is heavily concentrated in the southwestern U.S., where the spores of the fungal pathogen Coccidiodes typically live in the soil. In areas where there is active construction, farming or other disturbance of the soil, the spores may become airborne, and can then be inhaled. The illness typically presents as a community-acquired pneumonia, which is commonly self-limited. It is estimated that approximately 150,000 cases of Valley Fever occur annually. Approximately 5-10% of patients with Valley Fever develop a more severe form of the disease and a certain percentage of those patients will develop chronic pulmonary infection that may spread to other organs such as the brain, spleen and bone. Patients with more severe forms of the illness are typically treated with long-term fluconazole or itraconazole, although these therapies are not approved specifically for Valley Fever. Although current therapies are effective in some patients, they are often poorly tolerated and morbidity and mortality remain significant. Unlike cryptococcal meningitis, Valley Fever is common in patients with a normal immune system.
VT-1598 is currently in IND-enabling studies for the treatment of Valley Fever and other invasive fungal infections.
Click here to learn more about VT-1598.