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Environ Mol Mutagen. 2013 Jun;54(5):338-46. doi: 10.1002/em.21779. Epub 2013 Apr 26.

An assessment of the genetic toxicology of novel boron-containing therapeutic agents.

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Anacor Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 1020 East Meadow Circle, Palo Alto, California 94303-4230, USA.


Boron-containing compounds are being studied as potential therapeutic agents. As part of the safety assessment of these therapeutic agents, a battery of genetic toxicology studies was conducted. The battery included a bacterial reverse mutation (Ames) assay, an in vitro chromosome aberration assay in peripheral human lymphocytes, and an in vivo rat micronucleus study. The following compounds represent some of the boron-containing compounds that have been advanced to human clinical trials in various therapeutic areas. The borinic picolinate, AN0128, is an antibacterial compound with anti-inflammatory activity that has been studied in clinical trials for acne and the treatment of mild to moderate atopic dermatitis. AN2690 (tavaborole) is a benzoxaborole in Phase 3 clinical trials for the topical treatment of onychomycosis, a fungal infection of the toenails and fingernails. Another benzoxaborole derivative, AN2728, a phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE4) inhibitor, is in Phase 2 clinical trials for the treatment of atopic dermatitis. AN2898, also a PDE4 inhibitor, has been studied in clinical trials for atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. AN3365 is a leucyl-tRNA synthetase inhibitor that has been in clinical development for the treatment of various Gram-negative bacterial infections. These five representative compounds were negative in the three genotoxicity assays. Furthermore, AN2690 has been studied in mouse and rat 2-year bioassays and was not found to have any carcinogenic potential. These results demonstrate that it is possible to design boron-based therapeutic agents with no genetic toxicology liabilities.

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