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We report the syntheses of antifungals containing the novel pharmacophores: oxaziridines, sulfonyloxaziridines, nitrones and nitronyl nitroxides. We hypothesized that multiple copies of the pharmacophore per molecule might be a prerequisite to enhance efficacy against the opportunistic pathogen, Pneumocystis carinii. Therefore structural optimization of the leads was based on this new “multivalency” approach. All bisoxaziridines were inactive, but a trisoxaziridine caused ca. 50% reduction of the number of P. carinii tropozoites, compared to TMP-SMX, and a hexaoxaziridine at 1 µg/ml showed activity comparable to the currently used drug, TMP-SMX. Insertion of three units of the nitronyl nitroxide pharmacophore per molecule afforded an antifungal triradical with activity comparable to TMP-SMX at 1 µg/ml; at 25 µg/ml and at 10 µg/ml the triradical was better. The results lend further support to the oxidoredox pharmacophore hypothesis, and the enhancement of activities observed demonstrates the high potential and benefits of applying the concept of multivalency to drug development.


This article originally appeared in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, available at

This article is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0)



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