Antagonists of peripheral type 1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1) may have utility in the treatment of obesity, liver disease, metabolic syndrome and dyslipidemias. We have targeted analogues of the purine inverse agonist otenabant (1) for this purpose. The non-tissue selective CB1 antagonist rimonabant (2) was approved as a weight-loss agent in Europe but produced centrally mediated adverse effects in some patients including dysphoria and suicidal ideation leading to its withdrawal. Efforts are now underway to produce compounds with limited brain exposure. While many structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies of 2 have been reported, along with peripheralized compounds, 1 remains relatively less studied. In this report, we pursued analogues of 1 in which the 4-aminopiperidine group was switched to piperazine group to enable a better understanding of SAR to eventually produce compounds with limited brain penetration. To access a binding pocket and modulate physical properties, the piperazine was functionalized with alkyl, heteroalkyl, aryl and heteroaryl groups using a variety of connectors, including amides, sulfonamides, carbamates and ureas. These studies resulted in compounds that are potent antagonists of hCB1 with high selectivity for hCB1 over hCB2. The SAR obtained led to the discovery of 65 (Ki = 4 nM, >1,000-fold selective for hCB1 over hCB2), an orally bioavailable aryl urea with reduced brain penetration, and provides direction for discovering peripherally restricted compounds with good in vitro and in vivo properties.
Synthesis and pharmacological characterization of functionalized 6-piperazin-1-yl-purines as cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) inverse agonists
Amato, G. S., Manke, A., Vasukutta, V., Wiethe, R. W., Snyder, R. W., Runyon, S. P., & Maitra, R. (2018). Synthesis and pharmacological characterization of functionalized 6-piperazin-1-yl-purines as cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) inverse agonists. Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, 26(15), 4518-4531. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bmc.2018.07.043