Optimizing and Characterizing 4-Methyl Substituted Pyrazol-3-Carboxamides Leading to the Peripheral Cannabinoid 1 Receptor Inverse Agonist TM38837


Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters 98, no. August 2023 (2024): 1–11


Thomas Högberg, Jean Marie Receveur, Anthony Murray, Jean Michel Linget, Pia K. Nørregaard, Paul B. Little, and Martin Cooper



Several series of diverse pyrazole-3-carboxamides functionalized with 4-methylamides, 4-methylcarboxylic acids and 4-methyltetrazoles were prepared from the corresponding 4-cyanomethylpyrazoles and investigated as Cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) antagonists and inverse agonists with the aim of making compounds with less CNS (Central Nervous System) mediated side-effects compared to rimonabant. The compounds were evaluated and optimized with respect to lipophilicity, solubility, CB1 potency, metabolism, distribution to brain and liver, effect on weight loss in diet-induced mice models. A few carboxylic acids and tetrazoles were selected as especially promising with the tetrazole TM38837 subsequently demonstrating impressive efficacy in various animal models of obesity, producing considerable weight loss and improvements on plasma markers of inflammation and glucose homeostasis, at doses apparently producing negligible brain exposure. TM38837 became the first peripherally restricted CB1 antagonist or inverse agonist to enter clinical trials supporting its lack of CNS effects and it is now believed that the non-CNS mediated efficacy is linked to high liver exposure. This opens opportunities to be explored in other indications such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and steatohepatitis (NASH). Note that this is a first-time disclosure of the structure of TM38837 and other structures appearing in literature are not connected with this program.


Keywords: Q4 2023

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