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Type 4 phosphodiesterases (PDE4) inhibitors are emerging therapeutics in the treatment of a number of chronic disorders including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cognitive disorders. This study delineates the preclinical profile of L-454,560, which is a potent, competitive and preferential inhibitor of PDE4A, 4B, and 4D with IC50 values of 1.6, 0.5 and 1.2 nM, respectively. In contrast to the exclusive binding of cilomilast and the preferential binding of roflumilast to the PDE4 holoenzyme state (Mg2+-bound form), L-454,560 binds to both the apo-(Mg2+-free) and holoenzyme states of PDE4. The intrinsic enzyme potency for PDE4 inhibition by L-454,560 also results in an effective blockade of LPS-induced TNFα formation in whole blood (IC50 = 161 nM) and is comparable to the human whole blood potency of roflumilast. The cytokine profile of inhibition of L-454,560 is mainly a Th1 profile with significant inhibition of IFNγ and no detectable inhibition of IL-13 formation up to 1 μM. L-454,560 was also found to be efficacious in two models of airway hyper-reactivity, the ovalbumin (OVA) sensitized and challenged guinea pig and the ascaris sensitized sheep model. Furthermore, L-454560 was also effective in improving performance in the delayed matching to position (DMTP) version of the Morris watermaze, at a dose removed from that associated with potential emesis. Therefore, L-454,560 is a novel PDE4 inhibitor with an overall in vivo efficacy profile at least comparable to roflumilast and clearly superior to cilomilast.