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J Med Chem. 2007 Mar 22;50(6):1365-79. Epub 2007 Feb 23.

Discovery of (R)-9-ethyl-1,3,4,10b-tetrahydro-7-trifluoromethylpyrazino[2,1-a]isoindol- 6(2H)-one, a selective, orally active agonist of the 5-HT(2C) receptor.

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Department of Discovery Chemistry, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pharmaceutical Research Institute, P.O. Box 5400, Princeton, New Jersey 08543-5400, USA.


Robust pharmaceutical treatment of obesity has been limited by the undesirable side-effect profile of currently marketed therapies. This paper describes the synthesis and optimization of a new class of pyrazinoisoindolone-containing, selective 5-HT2C agonists as antiobesity agents. Key to optimization of the pyrazinoisoindolone core was the identification of the appropriate substitution pattern and functional groups which led to the discovery of (R)-9-ethyl-1,3,4,10b-tetrahydro-7-trifluoromethylpyrazino[2,1-a]isoindol-6(2H)-one (58), a 5-HT2C agonist with >300-fold functional selectivity over 5-HT2B and >70-fold functional selectivity over 5-HT2A. Oral dosing of 58 reduced food intake in an acute rat feeding model, which could be completely reversed by a selective 5-HT2C antagonist and caused a reduction in body weight gain in a 4-day rat model.

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