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J Med Chem. 2007 Jul 26;50(15):3442-56. Epub 2007 Jun 26.

Potent and selective nonpeptidic inhibitors of procollagen C-proteinase.

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Department of Discovery Chemistry, Pfizer Global Research and Development, Sandwich, Kent, CT13 9NJ, United Kingdom.


6-Cyclohexyl-N-hydroxy-3-(1,2,4-oxadiazol-5-yl)hexanamides were previously disclosed as inhibitors of procollagen C-proteinase (PCP) culminating in the identification of amide 1. Our objective was to discover a second inhibitor that would have improved affinity for PCP and to optimize properties for transepidermal delivery (TED) to intact skin. Further investigation of this template identified a number of potent PCP inhibitors (IC50 values of 2-6 nM) with improved TED flux. Sulfonamide 56 had excellent PCP enzyme activity when measured with a peptide substrate (Ki 8.7 nM) or with the endogenous substrate procollagen (IC50 3.4 nM) and demonstrates excellent selectivity over MMPs involved in wound healing (>10 000-fold). In the fibroplasia model, 56 inhibited deposition of insoluble collagen by 76 +/- 2% at 10 microM and was very effective at penetrating human skin in vitro with a TED flux of 1.5 microg/cm2/h, which compares favorably with values for agents that are known to penetrate skin well in vivo. Based on this profile, 56 (UK-421,045) was selected as a candidate for further preclinical evaluation as a topically applied, dermal anti-scarring agent.

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