Miltefosine is an ether lipid that was initially developed for cancer treatment in the early 1980s. Miltefosine largely failed development for oncology, although it was approved for the topical treatment of breast cancer metastasis. It was subsequently discovered that miltefosine is a highly effective treatment of visceral Leishmaniasis, a parasitic disease that affects millions worldwide and causes an estimated 30,000 fatalities each year. Oral treatment with miltefosine is generally well tolerated and has relatively few adverse effects. The exact mechanism of action of miltefosine treatment is still under investigation. Its close resemblance to phospholipids allows it to be quickly taken up by cell membranes and affect related processes, such as lipid metabolism and signaling through lipid rafts. These processes play an important role in the immune response and it comes as no surprise that miltefosine has been successfully tested for the treatment of a number of immune-mediated diseases in preclinical models of disease. Drug repurposing of miltefosine for immunemediated diseases may provide an opportunity to expand the limited number of drugs that are currently available for therapeutic use. Copyright

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Journal The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Verhaar, A.P, Wildenberg, M.E, Peppelenbosch, M.P, Hommes, D.W.S, & van den Brink, G.R. (2014). Repurposing miltefosine for the treatment of immune-mediated disease?. The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (Vol. 350, pp. 189–195). doi:10.1124/jpet.113.212654