Preclinical pharmacological profile of nomegestrol acetate, a synthetic 19-nor-progesterone derivative
Women’s Health Department, Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) Corp., Oss, The Netherlands
Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 2012, 10:85 doi:10.1186/1477-7827-10-85Published: 8 October 2012
Nomegestrol acetate (NOMAC), a synthetic progestogen derived from 19-nor-progesterone, recently completed clinical trials for use with 17beta-estradiol in a new monophasic combined oral contraceptive. In this review, published as well as previously unpublished preclinical studies that detail the effects of NOMAC on estrogenic, progestogenic, and androgenic systems, as well as mineralocorticoid, glucocorticoid, bone, and metabolic indices are described.
In vitro assays to determine NOMAC structure-activity relationships used tissue derived from rat uteri. Transactivation profiles were performed using Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells transfected with cDNAs encoding human steroid receptors. Estrogenic and anti-estrogenic activities were monitored in vivo in rats as well as in vitro in human breast cancer cells. Standard in vivo techniques were used in rats to determine progestational activity; antigonadotropic, androgenic, mineralocorticoid, and glucocorticoid activities; as well as effects on bone and other metabolic indices. Ovulation inhibition was monitored in rats and primates. NOMAC’s effects on cardiovascular systems were determined in dogs and primates.
NOMAC was without significant agonistic or antagonistic activity for estrogen receptor alpha or beta in vitro, and inhibited ovulation in rats and monkeys (2.5 mg/kg and 1 mg/kg, respectively). NOMAC lacked androgenic, antimineralocorticoid, glucocorticoid, and metabolic activity and exhibited moderate anti-androgenic activity in rats. NOMAC did not affect bone mineral density (BMD) in rats or hemodynamic and electrophysiologic parameters in dogs and primates.
NOMAC is a selective progestogen structurally similar to progesterone that has modest anti-androgenic activity and does not affect lipid or carbohydrate metabolism, BMD, or many cardiovascular parameters in selected animal models.