Fungal diseases are the only branch of infectious diseases without a vaccine for any of their causative agents. Fungi are challenging vaccine targets because the highest incidence of fungal disease occurs in patients who are immunocompromised, and theoretically, ineligible for immunization. Nonetheless, there has been renewed interest in generating novel fungal vaccines, because other methods of treatment (e.g. antibiotics and chemotherapies) have failed to decrease the incidence and lethality of fungal diseases. Further, with advancements in genome sequencing and proteomics, novel approaches provide potential solutions to the problem.
Growth in the anti-fungal market is driven predominately by demand for treatment against invasive fungal infections in immunocompromised individuals. The US market for PCP treatment among HIV/AIDS infected individuals is approximately $40 million and for PCP prophylaxis and preventative treatment is valued at approximately $200 million. The global market for HIV is approximately double the US market based on incidence and prevalence of the disease and adjusted for costs. According to various healthcare estimates, the number of immunocompromised patients in the US and globally will continue to grow exponentially due to various diseases and aging populations and therefore the incidence of fungal diseases will rapidly rise.