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J Drugs Dermatol. 2015 Jun;14(6):609-14.

In Vitro Nail Penetration and Antifungal Activity of Tavaborole, a Boron-Based Pharmaceutical.


An effective topical antifungal medication must penetrate through the nail plate at sufficient concentrations to eradicate the fungal infection. Tavaborole topical solution, 5% is a novel boron-based pharmaceutical approved for the treatment of toenail onychomycosis due to Trichophyton rubrum or T mentagrophytes. Four in vitro studies assessed the antifungal activity and nail penetration of tavaborole. In Study 1, tavaborole demonstrated minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values ranging from 0.25-2 μg/mL against all fungi tested; addition of 5% keratin powder did not affect the MIC against T rubrum. The minimum fungicidal concentration (MFC) values for tavaborole against T rubrum and T mentagrophytes were 8 and 16 μg/mL, respectively. In Study 2, tavaborole effectively penetrated through the nail plate; mean concentrations in the ventral/intermediate nail layer were significantly higher than ciclopirox at day 15. In Study 3, mean cumulative tavaborole penetration through ex vivo human nails was significantly higher than ciclopirox at day 15. In Study 4, tavaborole demonstrated superior nail penetration and fungicidal activity, as measured by zones of inhibition. These studies demonstrated the superior penetration of tavaborole through the nail plate vs ciclopirox. Tavaborole demonstrated robust antifungal activity, with low MIC and MFC values, even in the presence of keratin.

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