Anacor Pharmaceuticals has dosed the first patient in a Phase IIb trial of AN2728, a topical anti-inflammatory product candidate for the treatment of psoriasis.

The double-blind, randomised and vehicle-controlled study is designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of AN2728 in patients with mild to moderate plaque-type psoriasis.

The trial will enrol 60 patients who will be randomised to 2% AN2728 topical ointment or vehicle in a 2:1 ratio.

The trial will determine the size and design of the two planned pivotal Phase III trials of AN2728.

Anacor also reported results from its Phase 1 absorption trial of AN2728, which evaluated the topical pharmacokinetics, systemic safety, and local tolerability of 2% AN2728 ointment in 16 healthy volunteers.

The trial showed that 2% AN2728 topical ointment was well-tolerated and provided a substantial margin of safety for both acute and chronic effects.

AN2728 is a boron-based small-molecule compound which inhibits the activity of phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE4), thereby reducing the generation of pro-inflammatory cytokines that are the precursors of the inflammation associated with psoriasis.