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Since more than two decades anti-inflammatory effects of inhibitors of phosphodiesterase-4 have been described in numerous cellular and animal studies and were finally confirmed in clinical trials. The path from an early, pioneering study with Ro20-1724 showing reduction of psoriatric plaque size in 1979 to modern PDE4 inhibitors such as oral apremilast in development for psoriasis, the inhaled PDE4 inhibitor GSK256066 in development for asthma and COPD and finally roflumilast, the first PDE4 inhibitor approved and currently marketed as an oral, once-daily remedy for severe COPD was marked by large progress in chemical optimization based on improved understanding of PDE4 biology and drug-like properties determining the appropriate pharmacokinetic profile. In this chapter aspects of the pharmacology and clinical efficacy of PDE4 inhibitors, which have been in clinical development over the years are summarized with specific emphasis on their clinical pharmacokinetic properties.


Hermann Tenor, Armin Hatzelmann, Rolf Beume, Gezim Lahu, Karl Zech, Thomas D Bethke. Pharmacology, clinical efficacy, and tolerability of phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitors: impact of human pharmacokinetics. Handbook of experimental pharmacology. 2011(204):85-119

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PMID: 21695636

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