PALO ALTO, Calif., June 21, 2007 /PRNewswire/ -- Anacor Pharmaceuticals, a privately held pharmaceutical company, announced today that the journal Science will publish results of research that details how AN2690, the company's lead clinical candidate, kills fungal cells by interfering with synthesis of a specific protein required for fungal growth. This unique mechanism of action, made possible by the company's boron-based chemistry, may also prove useful in developing new classes of therapeutic agents such as antibiotics. The research results will be published in the June 22 issue of the journal.
"Understanding the way in which AN2690 stops fungal infections has given us a wealth of information about how to fashion antimicrobial drugs, including other anti-fungal compounds and systemic antibiotics," said Dickon Alley, Ph.D., head of discovery biology at Anacor and an author of the Science paper. "These findings validate our scientific strategy of focusing on the largely untapped potential of boron-containing drug candidates for unmet medical needs."
AN2690 is in Phase 2 clinical trials for the treatment of onychomycosis, a fungal infection of the nails and nailbeds that affects 7 to 14 percent of the U.S. population. Earlier this year, Anacor signed a partnership agreement with Schering-Plough Corporation to develop and commercialize AN2690. Under the terms of the agreement, Anacor received a $40 million upfront payment and a $10 million financing commitment from Schering-Plough. The company is eligible to receive payments potentially exceeding $575 million for development, regulatory and commercial milestones.
From a family of compounds known as benoxaborales, AN2690
demonstrated potent anti-fungal properties during preclinical
testing. Anacor researchers and collaborators from th