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2019 - Discovery of BNC375, a Potent, Selective, and Orally Available Type I Positive Allosteric Modulator of α7 nAChRs

icon pl   Patchliner publication in ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters (2019)

Harvey A.J., Avery T.D., Schaeffer L, Joseph C., Huff B.C., Singh R., Morice C., Giethlen B.,Grishin A.A., Coles C.J., Kolesik P., Wagner S., Andriambeloson E., Huyard B., Poiraud E., Paul D., O’Connor S.M.

ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters (2019) doi: 10.1021/acsmedchemlett.9b00001



Positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of α7 nAChRs can have different properties with respect to their effects on channel kinetics. Type I PAMs amplify peak channel response to acetylcholine but do not appear to influence channel desensitization kinetics, whereas Type II PAMs both increase channel response and delay receptor desensitization. Both Type I and Type II PAMs are reported in literature, but there are limited reports describing their structure–kinetic profile relationships. Here, we report a novel class of compounds with either Type I or Type II behavior that can be tuned by the relative stereochemistry around the central cyclopropyl ring: for example, (R,R)-13 (BNC375) and its analogues with RR stereochemistry around the central cyclopropyl ring are Type I PAMs, whereas compounds in the same series with SS stereochemistry (e.g., (S,S)-13) are Type II PAMs as measured using patch-clamp electrophysiology. Further fine control over the kinetics has been achieved by changing the substitutions on the aniline ring: generally the substitution of aniline with strong electron withdrawing groups reduces the Type II character of these compounds. Our structure–activity optimization efforts have led to the discovery of BNC375, a small molecule with good CNS-drug like properties and clinical candidate potential.

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