Antifungal Applications of the Lectins Scytovirin and Myxovirin

Antifungal Applications of the Lectins Scytovirin and Myxovirin

Docket: UAH-P-15001, 15002


Lectins are a class of protein that bind to specific carbohydrates. Certain lectins have exhibited antimicrobial properties, thus leading scientists to research these lectins for potential pharmaceutical benefits.

Researchers at UAH have utilized two such lectins, Scytovirin and newly discovered Myxovirin, to demonstrate novel antifungal activity. These recombinantly produced proteins are cultivated in a specific bacterial medium and processed for stability and effectiveness. They work by exploiting differences between mammalian and fungal cells, killing fungi with minimal effects to the host.

Scytovirin and Myxovirin recognize a new fungal target, so they will be effective against drug resistant fungal strains. Because they show potent synergy with existing treatments, they will not only work as new antifungals, but could also be used in combination with existing antifungals for added benefit. The novel antifungals are known to potently inhibit Cryptococcus, and could thus be used as a new approach for Cryptococcal treatment of human/animal infections.

Currently available antifungal agents are of poor efficacy and high toxicity. These novel antifungal agents are all-natural and biodegradable, so there should be no issues with environmental build-up or post-treatment traces. A recombinant bacterial expression system is in place, which allows for large-scale fermentation. There is potential for transgenic production in plants, which would result in even less expensive production.


  • Antifungal treatment for human/animal infections
  • Agricultural applications
  • Treatment targeting Cryptococcus


  • Effective against drug-resistant fungal strains
  • Work synergistically with existing antifungals
  • Natural and biodegradable
  • Large-scale fermentation production
  • Less expensive transgenic production in plants


  • State of Development: Research in progress
  • Licensing Status: Available for licensing
  • Patent Status: Patent pending