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Pulm Pharmacol Ther. 2012 Aug;25(4):293-302. doi: 10.1016/j.pupt.2012.05.008. Epub 2012 May 29.

Characteristics of AZD9708, a novel, selective β2-adrenoceptor agonist with rapid onset and long duration of action.

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  • 1AstraZeneca R&D Charnwood, Loughborough LE11 5RH, UK.


Here we describe the pre-clinical pharmacological profile of AZD9708, a novel long-acting β(2)-adrenoceptor agonist that has potential as a once-daily therapy for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). AZD9708 is a potent and selective agonist at the human β(2)-adrenoceptor, with selectivity over human β(1)- and β(3)-adrenoceptors of >500 and >24 fold, respectively. AZD9708 relaxes carbachol-induced contraction of human bronchial rings with a time to 90% of maximal relaxation of 13-20 min, similar to that seen with formoterol and quicker than salmeterol. In anesthetized guinea pigs, AZD9708 provides significant protection against histamine-induced airway constriction at 24 h after intratracheal and nebulized doses. This is longer than with intratracheal salmeterol, which is bronchoprotective for approximately 8 h, and formoterol, which is bronchoprotective for 8 and 12 h following nebulized and intratracheal dosing, respectively. AZD9708 also shows the potential for a greater therapeutic margin than widely used β(2)-adrenoceptor agonists such as formoterol. At a defined efficacy dose that provides 80% bronchoprotection (ED(80)), formoterol leads to a decrease in blood potassium levels in guinea pigs, whilst AZD9708 is not associated with significant reductions in potassium levels at doses up to 7 times the ED(80). [(14)C]AZD9708 is associated with extensive protein binding in both human (mean 1.0% free) and rat (mean 2.6% free) plasma. This pharmacological profile indicates the potential of AZD9708 to become an important addition to the range of bronchodilators available for the treatment of patients with obstructive airways disease.

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