ABSTRACT: Here, we report the identification and optimization of 1-(4-(pyridin-2-yl)benzyl)imidazolidine-2,4-dione derivatives as a novel chemotype with selective cannabinoid CB2 receptor agonist activity. 1 is a potent and selective cannabinoid CB2 receptor agonist (hCB2 pEC(50) = 8.6). The compound was found to be metabolically unstable, which resulted in low oral bioavailability in rat (F(po) = 4%) and possessed off-target activity at the hERG ion channel (pK(i) = 5.5). Systematic modification of physicochemical properties, such as lipophilicity and basicity, was used to optimize the pharmacokinetic profile and hERG affinity of this novel class of cannabinoid CB2 receptor agonists. This led to the identification of 44 as a potent, selective, and orally bioavailable cannabinoid CB2 receptor agonist (hCB2 pEC(50) = 8.0; hERG pK(i) < 4; F(po) = 100%), which was active in a rat spinal nerve ligation model of neuropathic pain.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 09/2011; 54(20):7350-62. · 4.80 Impact Factor