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J Med Chem. 2005 Sep 8;48(18):5705-20.

Synthesis and biological activity of flurbiprofen analogues as selective inhibitors of beta-amyloid(1)(-)(42) secretion.

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Research and Development, Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A., Via Palermo 26/A, 43100 Parma, Italy.


Flurbiprofen, a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID), has been recently described to selectively inhibit beta-amyloid(1)(-)(42) (Abeta42) secretion, the most toxic component of the senile plaques present in the brain of Alzheimer patients. The use of this NSAID in Alzheimer's disease (AD) is hampered by a significant gastrointestinal toxicity associated with cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibition. New flurbiprofen analogues were synthesized, with the aim of increasing Abeta42 inhibitory potency while removing anti-COX activity. In vitro ADME developability parameters were taken into account in order to identify optimized compounds at an early stage of the project. Appropriate substitution patterns at the alpha position of flurbiprofen allowed for the complete removal of anti-COX activity, while modifications at the terminal phenyl ring resulted in increased inhibitory potency on Abeta42 secretion. In rats, some of the compounds appeared to be well absorbed after oral administration and to penetrate into the central nervous system. Studies in a transgenic mice model of AD showed that selected compounds significantly decreased plasma Abeta42 concentrations. These new flurbiprofen analogues represent potential drug candidates to be developed for the treatment of AD.

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