Development of fluorine-substituted NH2-biphenyl-diarylpyrimidines as highly potent non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors: Boosting the safety and metabolic stability


Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B.


Jin, X., Wang, S., Zhao, L., Huang, W., Zhang, Y., Pannecouque, C., De Clercq, E., Meng, G., Piao, H., & Chen, F.



Our recent studies for nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors identified a highly potent compound JK-4b against WT HIV-1 (EC50 = 1.0 nmol/L), but the poor metabolic stability in human liver microsomes (t1/2 = 14.6 min) and insufficient selectivity (SI = 2059) with high cytotoxicity (CC50 = 2.08 μmol/L) remained major issues associated with JK-4b. The present efforts were devoted to the introduction of fluorine into the biphenyl ring of JK-4b, leading to the discovery of a novel series of fluorine-substituted NH2-biphenyl-diarylpyrimidines with noticeable inhibitory activity toward WT HIV-1 strain (EC50 = 1.8–349 nmol/L). The best compound 5t in this collection (EC50 = 1.8 nmol/L, CC50 = 117 μmol/L) was 32-fold in selectivity (SI = 66,443) compared to JK-4b and showed remarkable potency toward clinically multiple mutant strains, such as L100I, K103N, E138K, and Y181C. The metabolic stability of 5t was also significantly improved (t1/2 = 74.52 min), approximately 5-fold higher than JK-4b in human liver microsomes (t1/2 = 14.6 min). Also, 5t possessed good stability in both human and monkey plasma. No significant in vitro inhibition effect toward CYP enzyme and hERG was observed. The single-dose acute toxicity test did not induce mice death or obvious pathological damage. These findings pave the way for further development of 5t as a drug candidate.

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