AN3661 originates from organizations’ ongoing partnership to discover boron-based antimalarials.

Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and Anacor Pharmaceuticals are partnering on development of the preclinical-stage malaria candidate AN3661. The drug originates from the organizations’ April 2010 research agreement focused on identifying new malaria candidates based on Anacor’s boron chemistry. AN3661 is the first compound developed under the collaboration to enter preclinical development. Under terms of the AN3661 deal, Anacor and MMV will develop the compound through human proof-of-concept trials.

“We hope that the combination of our boron chemistry platform and research capabilities and MMV’s funding and disease expertise will enable us to develop AN3661 into a new therapeutic to treat malaria, a disease that causes the death of up to one million people a year,” comments David Perry, Anacor’s CEO.

Anacor is exploiting its boron chemistry platform and expertise to develop therapeutics against a range of diseases. The MMV collaboration falls under the firm’s neglected diseases initiative, through which it has teamed up with relevant foundations and governments to identify and develop potential boron-based compounds against diseases including malaria, tuberculosis, visceral leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, human African trypanosomiasis, and filarial worm diseases. Earlier this month the firm announced a a joint research agreement with the Institute for OneWorld Health focused on discovering antibacterial compounds for treating shigellosis.

All Anacor’s neglected disease programs are at the research or preclinical develpment stage. The firm also has five candidates in clinical development for a range of other diseases. Lead molecule AN2690 is a topically administered antifungal in Phase III development for the treatment of onychomycosis. AN2718 is a topical antifungal that employs the same mechanism as AN2690 and has completed Phase I studies as a potential treatment for skin and nail fungal infections. The firm says it plans to start Phase II studies with AN2718 as a treatment for onychomycosis following the completion of Phase III AN2690 trials. AN2728 is a topical anti-inflammatory product candidate for the treatment of psoriasis and atopic dermatitis, which is being evaluated in a second Phase IIb trial, initiated at the start of 2011. AN2898 is a topical anti-inflammatory candidate expected to start in Phase II development during the first half of 2011, also for the treatment of psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.

In July 2010, GSK paid Anacor $15 million to exercise its option for an exclusive license to GSK ‘052 (formerly AN3365), the U.S. firm’s early clinical-stage systemic antibiotic for the treatment of infections caused by Gram-negative bacteria. GSK has assumed responsibility for further development of the product candidate and any resulting commercialization.

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