Design, synthesis, evaluation and optimization of potent IRAK4 inhibitors alleviating production of inflammatory cytokines in LPS-induced SIRS model
Interleukin-1 receptor associated kinase-4 (IRAK4) has emerged as a therapeutic target for inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Through reversing the amide of CA-4948 and computer aided structure–activity relationship (SAR) studies, a series of IRAK4 inhibitors with oxazolo[4,5-b]pyridine scaffold were identified. Compound 32 showed improved potency (IC50 = 43 nM) compared to CA-4948 (IC50 = 115 nM), but suffered from hERG inhibition (IC50 = 5.7 μM). Further optimization led to compound 42 with reduced inhibition of hERG (IC50 > 30 μM) and 13-fold higher activity (IC50 = 8.9 nM) than CA-4948. Importantly, compound 42 had favorable in vitro ADME and in vivo pharmacokinetic properties. Furthermore, compound 42 significantly reduced LPS-induced production of serum TNF-α and IL-6 cytokines in the mouse model. The overall profiles of compound 42 support it as a lead for the development of IRAK4 inhibitors for the treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune disorders.