Publications by authors named "David Hepworth"

39 Publications

The RESOLUTE consortium: unlocking SLC transporters for drug discovery.

Authors:
Giulio Superti-Furga Daniel Lackner Tabea Wiedmer Alvaro Ingles-Prieto Barbara Barbosa Enrico Girardi Ulrich Goldmann Bettina Gürtl Kristaps Klavins Christoph Klimek Sabrina Lindinger Eva Liñeiro-Retes André C Müller Svenja Onstein Gregor Redinger Daniela Reil Vitaly Sedlyarov Gernot Wolf Matthew Crawford Robert Everley David Hepworth Shenping Liu Stephen Noell Mary Piotrowski Robert Stanton Hui Zhang Salvatore Corallino Andrea Faedo Maria Insidioso Giovanna Maresca Loredana Redaelli Francesca Sassone Lia Scarabottolo Michela Stucchi Paola Tarroni Sara Tremolada Helena Batoulis Andreas Becker Eckhard Bender Yung-Ning Chang Alexander Ehrmann Anke Müller-Fahrnow Vera Pütter Diana Zindel Bradford Hamilton Martin Lenter Diana Santacruz Coralie Viollet Charles Whitehurst Kai Johnsson Philipp Leippe Birgit Baumgarten Lena Chang Yvonne Ibig Martin Pfeifer Jürgen Reinhardt Julian Schönbett Paul Selzer Klaus Seuwen Charles Bettembourg Bruno Biton Jörg Czech Hélène de Foucauld Michel Didier Thomas Licher Vincent Mikol Antje Pommereau Frédéric Puech Veeranagouda Yaligara Aled Edwards Brandon J Bongers Laura H Heitman Ad P IJzerman Huub J Sijben Gerard J P van Westen Justine Grixti Douglas B Kell Farah Mughal Neil Swainston Marina Wright-Muelas Tina Bohstedt Nicola Burgess-Brown Liz Carpenter Katharina Dürr Jesper Hansen Andreea Scacioc Giulia Banci Claire Colas Daniela Digles Gerhard Ecker Barbara Füzi Viktoria Gamsjäger Melanie Grandits Riccardo Martini Florentina Troger Patrick Altermatt Cédric Doucerain Franz Dürrenberger Vania Manolova Anna-Lena Steck Hanna Sundström Maria Wilhelm Claire M Steppan

Nat Rev Drug Discov 2020 07;19(7):429-430

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/d41573-020-00056-6DOI Listing
July 2020

Virus-Like Particle Facilitated Deposition of Hydroxyapatite Bone Mineral on Nanocellulose after Exposure to Phosphate and Calcium Precursors.

Int J Mol Sci 2019 Apr 12;20(8). Epub 2019 Apr 12.

Cell and Molecular Sciences, The James Hutton Institute, Dundee DD2 5DA, UK.

We produced and isolated tobacco mosaic virus-like particles (TMV VLPs) from bacteria, which are devoid of infectious genomes, and found that they have a net negative charge and can bind calcium ions. Moreover, we showed that the TMV VLPs could associate strongly with nanocellulose slurry after a simple mixing step. We sequentially exposed nanocellulose alone or slurries mixed with the TMV VLPs to calcium and phosphate salts and utilized physicochemical approaches to demonstrate that bone mineral (hydroxyapatite) was deposited only in nanocellulose mixed with the TMV VLPs. The TMV VLPs confer mineralization properties to the nanocellulose for the generation of new composite materials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms20081814DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6515374PMC
April 2019

Nanofibers Produced from Agro-Industrial Plant Waste Using Entirely Enzymatic Pretreatments.

Biomacromolecules 2019 01 19;20(1):443-453. Epub 2018 Dec 19.

Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Section for Glycobiology , University of Copenhagen , Thorvaldsensvej 40 , 1871 Frederiksberg C , Denmark.

Cellulose fibers can be freed from the cell-wall skeleton via high-shear homogenization, to produce cellulose nanofibers (CNF) that can be used, for example, as the reinforcing phase in composite materials. Nanofiber production from agro-industrial byproducts normally involves harsh chemical-pretreatments and high temperatures to remove noncellulosic polysaccharides (20-70% of dry weight). However, this is expensive for large-scale processing and environmentally damaging. An enzyme-only pretreatment to obtain CNF from agro-industrial byproducts (potato and sugar beet) was developed with targeted commercial enzyme mixtures. It is hypothesized that cellulose can be isolated from the biomass, using enzymes only, due to the low lignin content, facilitating greater liberation of CNF via high-shear homogenization. Comprehensive Microarray Polymer Profiling (CoMPP) measured remaining extractable polysaccharides, showing that the enzyme-pretreatment was more successful at removing noncellulosic polysaccharides than alkaline- or acid-hydrolysis alone. While effective alone, the effect of the enzyme-pretreatment was bolstered via combination with a mild high-pH pretreatment. Dynamic rheology was used to estimate the proportion of CNF in resultant suspensions. Enzyme-pretreated suspensions showed 4-fold and 10-fold increases in the storage modulus for potato and sugar beet, respectively, compared to untreated samples. A greener yet facile method for producing CNF from vegetable waste is presented here.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.biomac.8b01435DOI Listing
January 2019

Rational approach to highly potent and selective apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) inhibitors.

Eur J Med Chem 2018 Feb 15;145:606-621. Epub 2017 Dec 15.

Medicine Design, Pfizer, Inc., 1 Portland Street, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.

Many diseases are believed to be driven by pathological levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative stress has long been recognized as a driver for inflammatory disorders. Apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) has been reported to be activated by intracellular ROS and its inhibition leads to a down regulation of p38-and JNK-dependent signaling. Consequently, ASK1 inhibitors may have the potential to treat clinically important inflammatory pathologies including renal, pulmonary and liver diseases. Analysis of the ASK1 ATP-binding site suggested that Gln756, an amino acid that rarely occurs at the GK+2 position, offered opportunities for achieving kinase selectivity for ASK1 which was applied to the design of a parallel medicinal chemistry library that afforded inhibitors of ASK1 with nanomolar potency and excellent kinome selectivity. A focused optimization strategy utilizing structure-based design resulted in the identification of ASK1 inhibitors with low nanomolar potency in a cellular assay, high selectivity when tested against kinase and broad pharmacology screening panels, and attractive physicochemical properties. The compounds we describe are attractive tool compounds to inform the therapeutic potential of ASK1 inhibition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmech.2017.12.041DOI Listing
February 2018

Discovery of PF-06928215 as a high affinity inhibitor of cGAS enabled by a novel fluorescence polarization assay.

PLoS One 2017 21;12(9):e0184843. Epub 2017 Sep 21.

Pfizer Centers for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI), Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.

Cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS) initiates the innate immune system in response to cytosolic dsDNA. After binding and activation from dsDNA, cGAS uses ATP and GTP to synthesize 2', 3' -cGAMP (cGAMP), a cyclic dinucleotide second messenger with mixed 2'-5' and 3'-5' phosphodiester bonds. Inappropriate stimulation of cGAS has been implicated in autoimmune disease such as systemic lupus erythematosus, thus inhibition of cGAS may be of therapeutic benefit in some diseases; however, the size and polarity of the cGAS active site makes it a challenging target for the development of conventional substrate-competitive inhibitors. We report here the development of a high affinity (KD = 200 nM) inhibitor from a low affinity fragment hit with supporting biochemical and structural data showing these molecules bind to the cGAS active site. We also report a new high throughput cGAS fluorescence polarization (FP)-based assay to enable the rapid identification and optimization of cGAS inhibitors. This FP assay uses Cy5-labelled cGAMP in combination with a novel high affinity monoclonal antibody that specifically recognizes cGAMP with no cross reactivity to cAMP, cGMP, ATP, or GTP. Given its role in the innate immune response, cGAS is a promising therapeutic target for autoinflammatory disease. Our results demonstrate its druggability, provide a high affinity tool compound, and establish a high throughput assay for the identification of next generation cGAS inhibitors.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0184843PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5608272PMC
October 2017

Discovery of Clinical Candidate 1-{[(2S,3S,4S)-3-Ethyl-4-fluoro-5-oxopyrrolidin-2-yl]methoxy}-7-methoxyisoquinoline-6-carboxamide (PF-06650833), a Potent, Selective Inhibitor of Interleukin-1 Receptor Associated Kinase 4 (IRAK4), by Fragment-Based Drug Design.

J Med Chem 2017 07 14;60(13):5521-5542. Epub 2017 Jun 14.

Worldwide Medicinal Chemistry, Pfizer Inc. , 1070 Science Center Drive, San Diego, California 92121, United States.

Through fragment-based drug design focused on engaging the active site of IRAK4 and leveraging three-dimensional topology in a ligand-efficient manner, a micromolar hit identified from a screen of a Pfizer fragment library was optimized to afford IRAK4 inhibitors with nanomolar potency in cellular assays. The medicinal chemistry effort featured the judicious placement of lipophilicity, informed by co-crystal structures with IRAK4 and optimization of ADME properties to deliver clinical candidate PF-06650833 (compound 40). This compound displays a 5-unit increase in lipophilic efficiency from the fragment hit, excellent kinase selectivity, and pharmacokinetic properties suitable for oral administration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.7b00231DOI Listing
July 2017

A Small-Molecule Anti-secretagogue of PCSK9 Targets the 80S Ribosome to Inhibit PCSK9 Protein Translation.

Cell Chem Biol 2016 Nov 13;23(11):1362-1371. Epub 2016 Oct 13.

Medicine Design, Worldwide Research & Development, Pfizer, Inc., 610 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. Electronic address:

Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) is a secreted protein that downregulates low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor (LDL-R) levels on the surface of hepatocytes, resulting in decreased clearance of LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C). Phenotypic screening of a small-molecule compound collection was used to identify an inhibitor of PCSK9 secretion, (R)-N-(isoquinolin-1-yl)-3-(4-methoxyphenyl)-N-(piperidin-3-yl)propanamide (R-IMPP), which was shown to stimulate uptake of LDL-C in hepatoma cells by increasing LDL-R levels, without altering levels of secreted transferrin. Systematic investigation of the mode of action revealed that R-IMPP did not decrease PCSK9 transcription or increase PCSK9 degradation, but instead caused transcript-dependent inhibition of PCSK9 translation. In support of this surprising mechanism of action, we found that R-IMPP was able to selectively bind to human, but not E. coli, ribosomes. This study opens a new avenue for the development of drugs that modulate the activity of target proteins by mechanisms involving inhibition of eukaryotic translation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chembiol.2016.08.016DOI Listing
November 2016

Efficacy and Pharmacology of the NLRP3 Inflammasome Inhibitor CP-456,773 (CRID3) in Murine Models of Dermal and Pulmonary Inflammation.

J Immunol 2016 09 12;197(6):2421-33. Epub 2016 Aug 12.

Inflammation & Immunology Research Unit, Pfizer, Cambridge, MA 02139;

A critical component of innate immune response to infection and tissue damage is the NACHT, LRR, and PYD domains-containing protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome, and this pathway and its activation products have been implicated in the pathophysiology of a variety of diseases. NLRP3 inflammasome activation leads to the cleavage of pro-IL-1β and pro-IL-18, as well as the subsequent release of biologically active IL-1β, IL-18, and other soluble mediators of inflammation. In this study, we further define the pharmacology of the previously reported NLRP3 inflammasome-selective, IL-1β processing inhibitor CP-456,773 (also known as MCC950), and we demonstrate its efficacy in two in vivo models of inflammation. Specifically, we show that in human and mouse innate immune cells CP-456,773 is an inhibitor of the cellular release of IL-1β, IL-1α, and IL-18, that CP-456,773 prevents inflammasome activation induced by disease-relevant soluble and crystalline NLRP3 stimuli, and that CP-456,773 inhibits R848- and imiquimod-induced IL-1β release. In mice, CP-456,773 demonstrates potent inhibition of the release of proinflammatory cytokines following acute i.p. challenge with LPS plus ATP in a manner that is proportional to the free/unbound concentrations of the drug, thereby establishing an in vivo pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic model for CP-456,773. Furthermore, CP-456,773 reduces ear swelling in an imiquimod cream-induced mouse model of skin inflammation, and it reduces airway inflammation in mice following acute challenge with house dust mite extract. These data implicate the NLRP3 inflammasome in the pathogenesis of dermal and airway inflammation, and they highlight the utility of CP-456,773 for interrogating the contribution of the NLRP3 inflammasome and its outputs in preclinical models of inflammation and disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.1600035DOI Listing
September 2016

Discovery and Preclinical Characterization of 6-Chloro-5-[4-(1-hydroxycyclobutyl)phenyl]-1H-indole-3-carboxylic Acid (PF-06409577), a Direct Activator of Adenosine Monophosphate-activated Protein Kinase (AMPK), for the Potential Treatment of Diabetic Nephropathy.

J Med Chem 2016 09 20;59(17):8068-81. Epub 2016 Aug 20.

Cardiovascular, Metabolic and Endocrine Diseases Medicinal Chemistry, ‡Cardiovascular, Metabolic and Endocrine Diseases Research Unit, and §Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics and Metabolism, Pfizer Worldwide Research & Development , 610 Main Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, United States.

Adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a protein kinase involved in maintaining energy homeostasis within cells. On the basis of human genetic association data, AMPK activators were pursued for the treatment of diabetic nephropathy. Identification of an indazole amide high throughput screening (HTS) hit followed by truncation to its minimal pharmacophore provided an indazole acid lead compound. Optimization of the core and aryl appendage improved oral absorption and culminated in the identification of indole acid, PF-06409577 (7). Compound 7 was advanced to first-in-human trials for the treatment of diabetic nephropathy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.6b00866DOI Listing
September 2016

Discovery and characterization of novel inhibitors of the sodium-coupled citrate transporter (NaCT or SLC13A5).

Sci Rep 2015 Dec 1;5:17391. Epub 2015 Dec 1.

Cardiovascular, Metabolic &Endocrine Disease Research Unit, 610 Main street, Cambridge, MA 02139.

Citrate is a key regulatory metabolic intermediate as it facilitates the integration of the glycolysis and lipid synthesis pathways. Inhibition of hepatic extracellular citrate uptake, by blocking the sodium-coupled citrate transporter (NaCT or SLC13A5), has been suggested as a potential therapeutic approach to treat metabolic disorders. NaCT transports citrate from the blood into the cell coupled to the transport of sodium ions. The studies herein report the identification and characterization of a novel small dicarboxylate molecule (compound 2) capable of selectively and potently inhibiting citrate transport through NaCT, both in vitro and in vivo. Binding and transport experiments indicate that 2 specifically binds NaCT in a competitive and stereosensitive manner, and is recognized as a substrate for transport by NaCT. The favorable pharmacokinetic properties of 2 permitted in vivo experiments to evaluate the effect of inhibiting hepatic citrate uptake on metabolic endpoints.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep17391DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4664966PMC
December 2015

Discovery of an in Vivo Tool to Establish Proof-of-Concept for MAP4K4-Based Antidiabetic Treatment.

ACS Med Chem Lett 2015 Nov 6;6(11):1128-33. Epub 2015 Oct 6.

Worldwide Medicinal Chemistry, Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research Unit, External Research Solutions, Primary Pharmacology Group, and Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics and Metabolism, Pfizer Worldwide Research & Development , 610 Main Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, United States.

Recent studies in adipose tissue, pancreas, muscle, and macrophages suggest that MAP4K4, a serine/threonine protein kinase may be a viable target for antidiabetic drugs. As part of the evaluation of MAP4K4 as a novel antidiabetic target, a tool compound, 16 (PF-6260933) and a lead 17 possessing excellent kinome selectivity and suitable properties were delivered to establish proof of concept in vivo. The medicinal chemistry effort that led to the discovery of these lead compounds is described herein together with in vivo pharmacokinetic properties and activity in a model of insulin resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsmedchemlett.5b00215DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4645242PMC
November 2015

Discovery of 2-(6-(5-Chloro-2-methoxyphenyl)-4-oxo-2-thioxo-3,4-dihydropyrimidin-1(2H)-yl)acetamide (PF-06282999): A Highly Selective Mechanism-Based Myeloperoxidase Inhibitor for the Treatment of Cardiovascular Diseases.

J Med Chem 2015 Nov 28;58(21):8513-28. Epub 2015 Oct 28.

Worldwide Research and Development, Pfizer, Inc., Groton, Connecticut 06340, United States.

Myeloperoxidase (MPO) is a heme peroxidase that catalyzes the production of hypochlorous acid. Clinical evidence suggests a causal role for MPO in various autoimmune and inflammatory disorders including vasculitis and cardiovascular and Parkinson's diseases, implying that MPO inhibitors may represent a therapeutic treatment option. Herein, we present the design, synthesis, and preclinical evaluation of N1-substituted-6-arylthiouracils as potent and selective inhibitors of MPO. Inhibition proceeded in a time-dependent manner by a covalent, irreversible mechanism, which was dependent upon MPO catalysis, consistent with mechanism-based inactivation. N1-Substituted-6-arylthiouracils exhibited low partition ratios and high selectivity for MPO over thyroid peroxidase and cytochrome P450 isoforms. N1-Substituted-6-arylthiouracils also demonstrated inhibition of MPO activity in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated human whole blood. Robust inhibition of plasma MPO activity was demonstrated with the lead compound 2-(6-(5-chloro-2-methoxyphenyl)-4-oxo-2-thioxo-3,4-dihydropyrimidin-1(2H)-yl)acetamide (PF-06282999, 8) upon oral administration to lipopolysaccharide-treated cynomolgus monkeys. On the basis of its pharmacological and pharmacokinetic profile, PF-06282999 has been advanced to first-in-human pharmacokinetic and safety studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.5b00963DOI Listing
November 2015

Discovery and Optimization of Imidazopyridine-Based Inhibitors of Diacylglycerol Acyltransferase 2 (DGAT2).

J Med Chem 2015 Sep;58(18):7173-85

Worldwide Medicinal Chemistry, ‡Cardiovascular, Metabolic and Endocrine Diseases Research Unit, and §Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics and Metabolism, Pfizer Worldwide Research & Development , Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, United States.

The medicinal chemistry and preclinical biology of imidazopyridine-based inhibitors of diacylglycerol acyltransferase 2 (DGAT2) is described. A screening hit 1 with low lipophilic efficiency (LipE) was optimized through two key structural modifications: (1) identification of the pyrrolidine amide group for a significant LipE improvement, and (2) insertion of a sp(3)-hybridized carbon center in the core of the molecule for simultaneous improvement of N-glucuronidation metabolic liability and off-target pharmacology. The preclinical candidate 9 (PF-06424439) demonstrated excellent ADMET properties and decreased circulating and hepatic lipids when orally administered to dyslipidemic rodent models.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.5b01006DOI Listing
September 2015

Discovery of Selective Small Molecule Inhibitors of Monoacylglycerol Acyltransferase 3.

J Med Chem 2015 Sep 8;58(18):7164-72. Epub 2015 Sep 8.

Worldwide Medicinal Chemistry, ‡Cardiovascular, Metabolic and Endocrine Diseases Research Unit, and §Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics and Metabolism, Pfizer Worldwide Research & Development , Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, United States.

Inhibition of triacylglycerol (TAG) biosynthetic enzymes has been suggested as a promising strategy to treat insulin resistance, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and hepatic steatosis. Monoacylglycerol acyltransferase 3 (MGAT3) is an integral membrane enzyme that catalyzes the acylation of both monoacylglycerol (MAG) and diacylglycerol (DAG) to generate DAG and TAG, respectively. Herein, we report the discovery and characterization of the first selective small molecule inhibitors of MGAT3. Isoindoline-5-sulfonamide (6f, PF-06471553) selectively inhibits MGAT3 with high in vitro potency and cell efficacy. Because the gene encoding MGAT3 (MOGAT3) is found only in higher mammals and humans, but not in rodents, a transgenic mouse model expressing the complete human MOGAT3 was used to characterize the effects of 6f in vivo. In the presence of a combination of diacylglycerol acyltransferases 1 and 2 (DGAT1 and DGAT2) inhibitors, an oral administration of 6f exhibited inhibition of the incorporation of deuterium-labeled glycerol into TAG in this mouse model. The availability of a potent and selective chemical tool and a humanized mouse model described in this report should facilitate further dissection of the physiological function of MGAT3 and its role in lipid homeostasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.5b01008DOI Listing
September 2015

A Call for Systematic Research on Solute Carriers.

Cell 2015 Jul;162(3):478-87

CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, 1090 Vienna, Austria; Center for Physiology and Pharmacology, Medical University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria. Electronic address:

Solute carrier (SLC) membrane transport proteins control essential physiological functions, including nutrient uptake, ion transport, and waste removal. SLCs interact with several important drugs, and a quarter of the more than 400 SLC genes are associated with human diseases. Yet, compared to other gene families of similar stature, SLCs are relatively understudied. The time is right for a systematic attack on SLC structure, specificity, and function, taking into account kinship and expression, as well as the dependencies that arise from the common metabolic space.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2015.07.022DOI Listing
July 2015

Evaluation and synthesis of polar aryl- and heteroaryl spiroazetidine-piperidine acetamides as ghrelin inverse agonists.

ACS Med Chem Lett 2015 Feb 14;6(2):156-61. Epub 2014 Dec 14.

Worldwide Medicinal Chemistry, Pfizer Global Research and Development , 550 Eastern Point Road, Groton, Connecticut 06340, United States.

Several polar heteroaromatic acetic acids and their piperidine amides were synthesized and evaluated as ghrelin or type 1a growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHS-R1a) inverse agonists. Efforts to improve pharmacokinetic and safety profile was achieved by modulating physicochemical properties and, more specifically, emphasizing increased polarity of our chemical series. ortho-Carboxamide containing compounds provided optimal physicochemical, pharmacologic, and safety profile. pH-dependent chemical stability was also assessed with our series.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ml500414nDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4329598PMC
February 2015

A potentiator of orthosteric ligand activity at GLP-1R acts via covalent modification.

Nat Chem Biol 2014 Aug 6;10(8):629-31. Epub 2014 Jul 6.

Worldwide Medicinal Chemistry, Pfizer PharmaTherapeutics Research and Development, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

We report that 4-(3-(benzyloxy)phenyl)-2-ethylsulfinyl-6-(trifluoromethyl)pyrimidine (BETP), which behaves as a positive allosteric modulator at the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R), covalently modifies cysteines 347 and 438 in GLP-1R. C347, located in intracellular loop 3 of GLP-1R, is critical to the activity of BETP and a structurally distinct GLP-1R ago-allosteric modulator, N-(tert-butyl)-6,7-dichloro-3-(methylsulfonyl)quinoxalin-2-amine. We further show that substitution of cysteine for phenylalanine 345 in the glucagon receptor is sufficient to confer sensitivity to BETP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nchembio.1581DOI Listing
August 2014

Discovery of PF-5190457, a Potent, Selective, and Orally Bioavailable Ghrelin Receptor Inverse Agonist Clinical Candidate.

ACS Med Chem Lett 2014 May 24;5(5):474-9. Epub 2014 Feb 24.

Worldwide Medicinal Chemistry, Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research Unit, Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics, and Metabolism, Primary Pharmacology Group, and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pfizer Global Research and Development , 620 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, United States.

The identification of potent, highly selective orally bioavailable ghrelin receptor inverse agonists from a spiro-azetidino-piperidine series is described. Examples from this series have promising in vivo pharmacokinetics and increase glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in human whole and dispersed islets. A physicochemistry-based strategy to increase lipophilic efficiency for ghrelin receptor potency and retain low clearance and satisfactory permeability while reducing off-target pharmacology led to the discovery of 16h. Compound 16h has a superior balance of ghrelin receptor pharmacology and off-target selectivity. On the basis of its promising pharmacological and safety profile, 16h was advanced to human clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ml400473xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4027753PMC
May 2014

Chemical Probe Identification Platform for Orphan GPCRs Using Focused Compound Screening: GPR39 as a Case Example.

ACS Med Chem Lett 2013 Nov 16;4(11):1079-84. Epub 2013 Sep 16.

Departments of Cardiovascular, Metabolic and Endocrine Diseases and Cardiovascular, Metabolic and Endocrine Diseases Medicinal Chemistry, Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development , 620 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, United States.

Orphan G protein-coupled receptors (oGPCRs) are a class of integral membrane proteins for which endogenous ligands or transmitters have not yet been discovered. Transgenic animal technologies have uncovered potential roles for many of these oGPCRs, providing new targets for the treatment of various diseases. Understanding signaling pathways of oGPCRs and validating these receptors as potential drug targets requires the identification of chemical probe compounds to be used in place of endogenous ligands to interrogate these receptors. A novel chemical probe identification platform was created in which GPCR-focused libraries were screened against sets of oGPCR targets, with a goal of discovering fit-for-purpose chemical probes for the more druggable members of the set. Application of the platform to a set of oGPCRs resulted in the discovery of the first reported small molecule agonists for GPR39, a receptor implicated in the regulation of insulin secretion and preservation of beta cells in the pancreas. Compound 1 stimulated intracellular calcium mobilization in recombinant and native cells in a GPR39-specific manner but did not potentiate glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in human islet preparations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ml400275zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4027148PMC
November 2013

Identification of (R)-6-(1-(4-cyano-3-methylphenyl)-5-cyclopentyl-4,5-dihydro-1H-pyrazol-3-yl)-2-methoxynicotinic acid, a highly potent and selective nonsteroidal mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist.

J Med Chem 2014 May 30;57(10):4273-88. Epub 2014 Apr 30.

Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development , 200 CambridgePark Drive, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02140, United States.

A novel series of nonsteroidal mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) antagonists identified as part of our strategy to follow up on the clinical candidate PF-03882845 (2) is reported. Optimization departed from the previously described pyrazoline 3a and focused on improving the selectivity for MR versus the progesterone receptor (PR) as an approach to avoid potential sex-hormone-related adverse effects and improving biopharmaceutical properties. From this effort, (R)-14c was identified as a potent nonsteroidal MR antagonist (IC50 = 4.5 nM) with higher than 500-fold selectivity versus PR and other related nuclear hormone receptors, with improved solubility as compared to 2 and pharmacokinetic properties suitable for oral administration. (R)-14c was evaluated in vivo using the increase of urinary Na(+)/K(+) ratio in rat as a mechanism biomarker of MR antagonism. Treatment with (R)-14c by oral administration resulted in significant increases in urinary Na(+)/K(+) ratio and demonstrated this novel compound acts as an MR antagonist.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jm500206rDOI Listing
May 2014

Identification of Tetrahydropyrido[4,3-d]pyrimidine Amides as a New Class of Orally Bioavailable TGR5 Agonists.

ACS Med Chem Lett 2013 Jan 9;4(1):63-8. Epub 2012 Nov 9.

Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development , Groton, Connecticut 06340, United States.

Takeda G-protein-coupled receptor 5 (TGR5) represents an exciting biological target for the potential treatment of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. A new class of high-throughput screening (HTS)-derived tetrahydropyrido[4,3-d]pyrimidine amide TGR5 agonists is disclosed. We describe our effort to identify an orally available agonist suitable for assessment of systemic TGR5 agonism. This effort resulted in identification of 16, which had acceptable potency and pharmacokinetic properties to allow for in vivo assessment in dog. A key aspect of this work was the calibration of human and dog in vitro assay systems that could be linked with data from a human ex vivo peripheral blood monocyte assay that expresses receptor at endogenous levels. Potency from the human in vitro assay was also found to correlate with data from an ex vivo human whole blood assay. This calibration exercise provided confidence that 16 could be used to drive plasma exposures sufficient to test the effects of systemic activation of TGR5.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ml300277tDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4027551PMC
January 2013

Shaping a screening file for maximal lead discovery efficiency and effectiveness: elimination of molecular redundancy.

J Chem Inf Model 2012 Nov 31;52(11):2937-49. Epub 2012 Oct 31.

Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development, Groton, Connecticut, USA.

High Throughput Screening (HTS) is a successful strategy for finding hits and leads that have the opportunity to be converted into drugs. In this paper we highlight novel computational methods used to select compounds to build a new screening file at Pfizer and the analytical methods we used to assess their quality. We also introduce the novel concept of molecular redundancy to help decide on the density of compounds required in any region of chemical space in order to be confident of running successful HTS campaigns.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ci300372aDOI Listing
November 2012

Insights into the novel hydrolytic mechanism of a diethyl 2-phenyl-2-(2-arylacetoxy)methyl malonate ester-based microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP) inhibitor.

Chem Res Toxicol 2012 Oct 27;25(10):2138-52. Epub 2012 Sep 27.

Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics, and Metabolism-New Chemical Entities, Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development, Groton, Connecticut 06340, USA.

Inhibition of intestinal and hepatic microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP) is a potential strategy for the treatment of dyslipidemia and related metabolic disorders. Inhibition of hepatic MTP, however, results in elevated liver transaminases and increased hepatic fat deposition consistent with hepatic steatosis. Diethyl 2-((2-(3-(dimethylcarbamoyl)-4-(4'-(trifluoromethyl)-[1,1'-biphenyl]-2-ylcarboxamido)phenyl)acetoxy)methyl)-2-phenylmalonate (JTT-130) is an intestine-specific inhibitor of MTP and does not cause increases in transaminases in short-term clinical trials in patients with dyslipidemia. Selective inhibition of intestinal MTP is achieved via rapid hydrolysis of its ester linkage by liver-specific carboxylesterase(s), resulting in the formation of an inactive carboxylic acid metabolite 1. In the course of discovery efforts around tissue-specific inhibitors of MTP, the mechanism of JTT-130 hydrolysis was examined in detail. Lack of ¹⁸O incorporation in 1 following the incubation of JTT-130 in human liver microsomes in the presence of H₂¹⁸O suggested that hydrolysis did not occur via a simple cleavage of the ester linkage. The characterization of atropic acid (2-phenylacrylic acid) as a metabolite was consistent with a hydrolytic pathway involving initial hydrolysis of one of the pendant malonate ethyl ester groups followed by decarboxylative fragmentation to 1 and the concomitant liberation of the potentially electrophilic acrylate species. Glutathione conjugates of atropic acid and its ethyl ester were also observed in microsomal incubations of JTT-130 that were supplemented with the thiol nucleophile. Additional support for the hydrolysis mechanism was obtained from analogous studies on diethyl 2-(2-(2-(3-(dimethylcarbamoyl)-4-(4'-trifluoromethyl)-[1,1'-biphenyl]-2-ylcarboxamido)phenyl)acetoxy)ethyl)-2-phenylmalonate (3), which cannot participate in hydrolysis via the fragmentation pathway because of the additional methylene group. Unlike the case with JTT-130, ¹⁸O was readily incorporated into 1 during the enzymatic hydrolysis of 3, suggestive of a mechanism involving direct hydrolytic cleavage of the ester group in 3. Finally, 3-(ethylamino)-2-(ethylcarbamoyl)-3-oxo-2-phenylpropyl 2-(3-(dimethylcarbamoyl)-4-(4'-(trifluoromethyl)-[1,1'-biphenyl]-2-ylcarboxamido)phenyl)acetate (4), which possessed an N,N-diethyl-2-phenylmalonamide substituent (in lieu of the diethyl-2-phenylmalonate motif in JTT-130) proved to be resistant to the hydrolytic cleavage/decarboxylative fragmentation pathway that yielded 1, a phenomenon that further confirmed our hypothesis. From a toxicological standpoint, it is noteworthy to point out that the liberation of the electrophilic acrylic acid species as a byproduct of JTT-130 hydrolysis is similar to the bioactivation mechanism established for felbamate, an anticonvulsant agent associated with idiosyncratic aplastic anemia and hepatotoxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/tx300243vDOI Listing
October 2012

Design of a multi-purpose fragment screening library using molecular complexity and orthogonal diversity metrics.

J Comput Aided Mol Des 2011 Jul 21;25(7):621-36. Epub 2011 May 21.

Pfizer Global Research and Development (PGRD), Groton, CT 06340, USA.

Fragment Based Drug Discovery (FBDD) continues to advance as an efficient and alternative screening paradigm for the identification and optimization of novel chemical matter. To enable FBDD across a wide range of pharmaceutical targets, a fragment screening library is required to be chemically diverse and synthetically expandable to enable critical decision making for chemical follow-up and assessing new target druggability. In this manuscript, the Pfizer fragment library design strategy which utilized multiple and orthogonal metrics to incorporate structure, pharmacophore and pharmacological space diversity is described. Appropriate measures of molecular complexity were also employed to maximize the probability of detection of fragment hits using a variety of biophysical and biochemical screening methods. In addition, structural integrity, purity, solubility, fragment and analog availability as well as cost were important considerations in the selection process. Preliminary analysis of primary screening results for 13 targets using NMR Saturation Transfer Difference (STD) indicates the identification of uM-mM hits and the uniqueness of hits at weak binding affinities for these targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10822-011-9434-0DOI Listing
July 2011

Pharmacokinetics and elucidation of the rates and routes of N-glucuronidation of PF-592379, an oral dopamine 3 agonist in rat, dog, and human.

Xenobiotica 2010 Nov;40(11):730-42

Department of Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics and Metabolism, Pfizer Global Research and Development, Sandwich, Kent, CT13 9NJ, UK.

PF-592379 is a potent, selective agonist of the dopamine 3 receptor, for the treatment of male erectile dysfunction and female sexual dysfunction. In vivo, PF-592379 has low-moderate clearance relative to liver blood flow of 6.3 and 8.5 ml/min/kg in dog and 44.8 and 58.2 ml/min/kg in rat. It has high permeability in Caco-2 cells and was completely absorbed in rat and dog pharmacokinetic studies with an oral bioavailability of 28% in both rats and 61 and 87% in the dogs. These data are consistent with the physicochemical properties of PF-592379, which indicate complete absorption by the transcellular route. Elimination of PF-592379 was predominantly metabolic in nature. In vitro routes of metabolism studies indicate that metabolism in the rat is a combination of P450 mechanisms and N-glucuronidation, whereas in dog and human, N-glucuronidation is the major route. NMR analysis indicates that N-glucuronidation is non-quaternary in nature and occurs on both the pyridyl amine and ring nitrogen. Rates of clearance via N-glucuronidation were predicted to be low in humans compared with acyl or phenolic glucuronidation. PF-592379 was predicted to have complete absorption from the gastrointestinal tract and an oral bioavailability of >60% in the clinic. Clinical data verified that PF-592379 is a low clearance compound in human, with a mean oral clearance of 6.5 ml/min/kg following a 200 mg oral dose. PF-592379 has ideal pharmacokinetic properties for an oral D3 agonist, intended for on demand dosing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/00498254.2010.514961DOI Listing
November 2010

Discovery of a selective small-molecule melanocortin-4 receptor agonist with efficacy in a pilot study of sexual dysfunction in humans.

J Med Chem 2010 Apr;53(8):3183-97

Pfizer Global Research and Development, Sandwich Laboratories, Ramsgate Road, Sandwich, Kent CT139NJ, U.K.

The relevance of the melanocortin system to sexual activity is well established, and nonselective peptide agonists of the melanocortin receptors have shown evidence of efficacy in human sexual dysfunction. The role of the MC4 receptor subtype has received particular scrutiny, but the sufficiency of its selective activation in potentiating sexual response has remained uncertain owing to conflicting data from studies in preclinical species. We describe here the discovery of a novel series of small-molecule MC4 receptor agonists derived from library hit 2. The addition of methyl substituents at C3 and C5 of the 4-phenylpiperidin-4-ol ring was found to be markedly potency-enhancing, enabling the combination of low nanomolar potencies with full rule-of-five compliance. In general, the series shows only micromolar activity at other melanocortin receptors. Our preferred compound 40a provided significant systemic exposure in humans on both sublingual and oral administration and was safe and well tolerated up to the maximum tested dose. In a pilot clinical study of male erectile dysfunction, the highest dose of 40a tested (200 mg) provided a similar level of efficacy to sildenafil.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jm9017866DOI Listing
April 2010

On the origins of diastereoselectivity in the alkylation of enolates derived from N-1-(1'-naphthyl)ethyl-O-tert-butylhydroxamates: chiral Weinreb amide equivalents.

J Org Chem 2010 Feb;75(4):1214-27

Department of Chemistry, Chemistry Research Laboratory, University of Oxford, Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3TA, United Kingdom.

The stereochemical outcome observed upon alkylation of enolates derived from N-1-(1'-naphthyl)ethyl-O-tert-butylhydroxamates (chiral Weinreb amide equivalents) may be rationalized by a chiral relay mechanism. Deprotonation with KHMDS leads to a nonchelated (Z)-enolate in which the oxygen atoms adopt an anti-periplanar conformation. The configuration of the N-1-(1'-naphthyl)ethyl group dictates the conformation of the O-tert-butyl group and the configuration adopted by the adjacent pyramidal nitrogen atom. Highly diastereoselective enolate alkylation then proceeds anti to both the bulky tert-butyl group (sterically driven) and the N-lone pair (stereoelectronically driven).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jo902499sDOI Listing
February 2010

The chiral auxiliary N-1-(1'-naphthyl)ethyl-O-tert-butylhydroxylamine: a chiral Weinreb amide equivalent.

Org Lett 2009 Aug;11(15):3254-7

Department of Chemistry, Chemistry Research Laboratory, University of Oxford, Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3TA, UK.

The chiral auxiliary N-1-(1'-naphthyl)ethyl-O-tert-butylhydroxylamine is readily prepared from N-hydroxyphthalimide in four steps, with resolution giving access to both enantiomers in > 98% ee, on a multigram (> 25 g) scale. Conversion to a range of N-acyl derivatives, followed by highly diastereoselective alkylation (> or = 94% de) gives the corresponding chiral, 2-substituted derivatives as single diastereoisomers (> 98% de) after chromatography. Reductive cleavage with LiAlH(4) allows direct access to chiral aldehydes, and treatment with MeLi gives chiral methyl ketones in excellent enantiopurity (> or = 94% ee). The auxiliary can be recovered in > 98% ee and recycled.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ol901174tDOI Listing
August 2009