INTRODUCTION: The endocannabinoid system is an important regulator of various physiological processes. Preclinical and clinical studies indicate that attenuation of the endocannabinoid system via antagonism of the type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1) is an excellent strategy to treat obesity, metabolic syndrome and associated disorders. However, centrally acting antagonists of CB1 also produce adverse effects like depression and anxiety. Current efforts are geared towards discovery and optimization of antagonists and modulators of CB1 that have limited brain penetration. Areas Covered: Several recent publications and patent applications support the development of peripherally acting CB1 receptor antagonists and modulators. In this review, recent patents and applications (2015 - 2018) are summarized and discussed. Expert Opinion: Approximately 30 new inventions have been reported since 2015, along with 3 recent commercial deals, highlighting the importance of this class of therapeutics. Taken together, peripherally acting CB1 receptor antagonists and modulators are an emerging class of drugs for metabolic syndrome, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and other important disorders where this receptor has been implicated.
A patent update on cannabinoid receptor 1 antagonists (2015-2018)