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Br J Pharmacol. 2013 Mar;168(6):1506-18. doi: 10.1111/bph.12039.

Characterization of AQX-1125, a small-molecule SHIP1 activator: Part 1. Effects on inflammatory cell activation and chemotaxis in vitro and pharmacokinetic characterization in vivo.

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Aquinox Pharmaceuticals Inc., Richmond, BC, Canada.



The SH2-containing inositol-5'-phosphatase 1 (SHIP1) metabolizes PI(3,4,5)P3 to PI(3,4)P2. SHIP1-deficient mice exhibit progressive inflammation. Pharmacological activation of SHIP1 is emerging as a potential therapy for pulmonary inflammatory diseases. Here we characterize the efficacy of AQX-1125, a small-molecule SHIP1 activator currently in clinical development.


The effects of AQX-1125 were tested in several in vitro assays: on enzyme catalytic activity utilizing recombinant human SHIP1, on Akt phosphorylation in SHIP1-proficient and SHIP1-deficient cell lines, on cytokine release in murine splenocytes, on human leukocyte chemotaxis using modified Boyden chambers and on β-hexosaminidase release from murine mast cells. In addition, pharmacokinetic and drug distribution studies were performed in rats and dogs.


AQX-1125 increased the catalytic activity of human recombinant SHIP1, an effect, which was absent after deletion of the C2 region. AQX-1125 inhibited Akt phosphorylation in SHIP1-proficient but not in SHIP1-deficient cells, reduced cytokine production in splenocytes, inhibited the activation of mast cells and inhibited human leukocyte chemotaxis. In vivo, AQX-1125 exhibited >80% oral bioavailability and >5 h terminal half-life.


Consistent with the role of SHIP1 in cell activation and chemotaxis, the SHIP1 activator AQX-1125 inhibits Akt phosphorylation, inflammatory mediator production and leukocyte chemotaxis in vitro. The in vitro effects and the pharmacokinetic properties of the compound make it a suitable candidate for in vivo testing in various models of inflammation.

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