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Chem Rec. 2008;8(3):156-68. doi: 10.1002/tcr.20147.

Cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonists in therapeutic and structural perspectives.

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Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Research Laboratories, C. J. van Houtenlaan 36, 1381 CP Weesp, The Netherlands.


The observed antiobesity effect of rimonabant (1) in a pharmacological rodent model 10 years ago has led to a surge in the search for novel cannabinoid CB1 antagonists as a new therapeutic target for the treatment of obesity. Rimonabant showed clinical efficacy in the treatment of obesity and also improved cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors. Cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonists have also good prospects in other therapeutic areas, including smoking and alcohol addiction as well as cognitive impairment. Solvay's research achievements in this fast-moving field are reported in relation with the current state of the art. Several medicinal chemistry strategies have been pursued. The application of the concept of conformational constraint led to the discovery of more rigid analogs of the prototypic CB1 receptor antagonist rimonabant. Replacement of the central heterocyclic pyrazole ring in rimonabant yielded imidazoles, triazoles, and thiazoles as selective CB1 receptor antagonists. Dedicated medium-throughput screening efforts delivered one 3,4-diarylpyrazoline hit. Its poor pharmacokinetic properties were successfully optimized which led to the discovery of orally active and highly CB1/CB2 receptor selective analogs in this series. Regioisomeric 1,5-diarylpyrazolines, 1,2-diarylimidazolines, and water-soluble imidazoles have been designed as novel CB1 receptor antagonist structure classes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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