Design, synthesis and biological evaluation of 7H-pyrrolo[2,3-d]pyrimidin-4-amine derivatives as selective Btk inhibitors with improved pharmacokinetic properties for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis


European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry


Linhong Hea, Heying Peia, Chufeng Zhanga, Mingfeng Shao, Dan Li, Mingli Tang, Taijing Wang, Xiaoxin Chen, Mingli Xiang, Lijuan Chen



Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (Btk) is a Tec family kinase with a well-defined role in the B cell receptor (BCR) and Fcγ receptor (FcR) signaling pathways, which makes it a uniquely attractive target for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We reported a series of compounds bearing 7H-pyrrolo [2,3-d]pyrimidin-4-amine scaffold that potently inhibited Btk in vitro. Analysis of the structure-activity relationships (SAR) and drug-like profiles led to the discovery of the optimal compound B16. B16 preferentially inhibited Btk (IC50 = 21.70 ± 0.82 nM) over closely related kinases with moderate selectivity. Cell-based tests also confirmed that B16 significantly inhibited Btk Y223 auto-phosphorylation and PLCγ2 Y1217 phosphorylation. MTT revealed that B16 displayed weak suppression against normal LO2, HEK293 and THP-1 cell lines with IC50 values over 30 μM. Moreover, B16 showed very weak potential to block the hERG channel (IC50 = 11.10 μM) in comparison to ibrutinib (IC50 = 0.97 μM). Owing to its favorable physicochemical properties (ClogP = 2.53, aqueous solubility ≈ 0.1 mg/mL), pharmacokinetic profiles (F = 49.15%, t1/2 = 7.02 h) and reasonable CYP450 profile, B16 exhibited potent anti-arthritis activity and similar efficacy to ibrutinib in reducing paw thickness in CIA mice. In conclusion, B16 is a potent, selective and durable inhibitor of Btk and has the potential to a safe and efficacious treatment for arthritis.

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