Novel Indirect AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Activators: Identification of a Second-Generation Clinical Candidate with Improved Physicochemical Properties and Reduced hERG Inhibitory Activity


Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin


Kazuyuki Kuramoto, Yuki Sawada, Tomohiro Yamada, Takeyuki Nagashima, Kei Ohnuki, Takashi Shin



This study reports the synthesis and evaluation of novel indirect AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activators. The series of compounds selectively inhibited cell growth in several human breast cancer cell lines by activating AMPK. We performed back-up medicinal chemistry synthetic research on ASP4132, a previously reported as a compound for clinical development that acts as an indirect AMPK activator. This led to the successful identification of 4-({4-[5-({1-[(5-ethoxypyrazin-2-yl)methyl]-4-fluoropiperidin-4-yl}methoxy)-3-methylpyridine-2-carbonyl]piperazin-1-yl}methyl)benzonitrile succinate (27b), a potent, highly aqueous soluble and metabolically stable compound in human hepatocytes. Compound 27b also showed weaker human Ether-a-go-go Related Gene (hERG) inhibitory activity than that of compound 13 and ASP4132. Therefore, 27b was a promising AMPK activator and a second-generation clinical candidate for treatment for human cancer.

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