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J Med Chem. 2010 Apr 22;53(8):3396-411. doi: 10.1021/jm1001524.

Discovery of a long-acting, peripherally selective inhibitor of catechol-O-methyltransferase.

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  • 1Laboratory of Chemistry, BIAL, A Avenida da Siderurgia Nacional, 4745-457 S. Mamede do Coronado, Portugal.


Novel nitrocatechol-substituted heterocycles were designed and evaluated for their ability to inhibit catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT). Replacement of the pyrazole core of the initial hit 4 with a 1,2,4-oxadiazole ring resulted in a series of compounds endowed with longer duration of COMT inhibition. Incorporation of a pyridine N-oxide residue at position 3 of the 1,2,4-oxadiazole ring led to analogue 37f, which was found to possess activity comparable to entacapone and lower toxicity in comparison to tolcapone. Lead structure 37f was systematically modified in order to improve selectivity and duration of COMT inhibition as well as to minimize toxicity. Oxadiazole 37d (2,5-dichloro-3-(5-(3,4-dihydroxy-5-nitrophenyl)-1,2,4-oxadiazol-3-yl)-4,6-dimethylpyridine 1-oxide (BIA 9-1067)) was identified as a long-acting, purely peripheral inhibitor, which is currently under clinical evaluation as an adjunct to L-Dopa therapy of Parkinson's disease.

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