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Clin Cancer Res. 2009 Nov 15;15(22):6841-51. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-09-0547. Epub 2009 Oct 27.

JNJ-26481585, a novel "second-generation" oral histone deacetylase inhibitor, shows broad-spectrum preclinical antitumoral activity.

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Ortho Biotech Oncology Research and Development, Clinical Pharmacology, Biostatistics, and Functional Genomics, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical R. & D., Beerse, Belgium.



Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors have shown promising clinical activity in the treatment of hematologic malignancies, but their activity in solid tumor indications has been limited. Most HDAC inhibitors in clinical development only transiently induce histone acetylation in tumor tissue. Here, we sought to identify a "second-generation" class I HDAC inhibitor with prolonged pharmacodynamic response in vivo, to assess whether this results in superior antitumoral efficacy.


To identify novel HDAC inhibitors with superior pharmacodynamic properties, we developed a preclinical in vivo tumor model, in which tumor cells have been engineered to express fluorescent protein dependent on HDAC1 inhibition, thereby allowing noninvasive real-time evaluation of the tumor response to HDAC inhibitors.


In vivo pharmacodynamic analysis of 140 potent pyrimidyl-hydroxamic acid analogues resulted in the identification of JNJ-26481585. Once daily oral administration of JNJ-26481585 induced continuous histone H3 acetylation. The prolonged pharmacodynamic response translated into complete tumor growth inhibition in Ras mutant HCT116 colon carcinoma xenografts, whereas 5-fluorouracil was less active. JNJ-26481585 also fully inhibited the growth of C170HM2 colorectal liver metastases, whereas again 5-fluorouracil/Leucovorin showed modest activity. Further characterization revealed that JNJ-26481585 is a pan-HDAC inhibitor with marked potency toward HDAC1 (IC(50), 0.16 nmol/L).


The potent antitumor activity as a single agent in preclinical models combined with its favorable pharmacodynamic profile makes JNJ-26481585 a promising "second-generation" HDAC inhibitor. The compound is currently in clinical studies, to evaluate its potential applicability in a broad spectrum of both solid and hematologic malignancies.

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