Because of the limitations and liabilities of current testosterone therapies, non-steroidal tissue-selective androgen receptor modulators may provide a clinically meaningful advance in therapy. Using a functional cell-based assay AC-262536 was identified as a potent and selective AR ligand, with partial agonist activity relative to the natural androgen testosterone. A 2-week chronic study in castrated male rats indicated that AC-262536 significantly improves anabolic parameters in these animals, especially in stimulating the growth of the levator ani and in suppressing elevated LH levels. In sharp contrast to testosterone, AC-262536 has weak androgenic effects, as measured by prostate and seminal vesicle weights. Thus, AC-262536 represents a novel class of selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) with beneficial anabolic effects.