Discovery of (S)-3-(3-(3,5-Dimethyl-1H-pyrazol-1-yl)phenyl)-4-((R)-3-(2-(5,6,7,8-tetrahydro-1,8-naphthyridin-2-yl)ethyl)pyrrolidin-1-yl)butanoic Acid, a Nonpeptidic αvβ6 Integrin Inhibitor for the Inhaled Treatment of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.
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A series of 3-aryl(pyrrolidin-1-yl)butanoic acids were synthesized using a diastereoselective route, via a rhodium catalyzed asymmetric 1,4-addition of arylboronic acids in the presence of (R)-BINAP to a crotonate ester to provide the (S) absolute configuration for the major product. A variety of aryl substituents including morpholine, pyrazole, triazole, imidazole, and cyclic ether were screened in cell adhesion assays for affinity against αvβ1, αvβ3, αvβ5, αvβ6, and αvβ8 integrins. Numerous analogs with high affinity and selectivity for the αvβ6 integrin were identified. The analog (S)-3-(3-(3,5-dimethyl-1H-pyrazol-1-yl)phenyl)-4-((R)-3-(2-(5,6,7,8-tetrahydro-1,8-naphthyridin-2-yl)ethyl)pyrrolidin-1-yl)butanoic acid hydrochloride salt was found to have very high affinity for αvβ6integrin in a radioligand binding assay (pKi = 11), a long dissociation half-life (7 h), very high solubility in saline at pH 7 (>71 mg/mL), and pharmacokinetic properties commensurate with inhaled dosing by nebulization. It was selected for further clinical investigation as a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.