J Med Chem 2005 Nov;48(23):7099-102
Ibis Therapeutics, A Division of Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc., 1891 Rutherford Road, Carlsbad, California 92008, USA.
A new class of small molecules that bind the HCV RNA IRES IIA subdomain with sub-micromolar affinity is reported. The benzimidazole 'hit' 1 with a KD approximately 100 microM to a 29-mer RNA model of Domain IIA was identified from a 180000-member library using mass spectrometry-based screening methods. Further MS-assisted SAR (structure-activity relationships) studies afforded benzimidazole derivatives with sub-micromolar binding affinity for the IIA RNA construct. The optimized benzimidazoles demonstrated activity in a cellular replicon assay at concentrations comparable to their KD for the RNA target.