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J Med Chem. 2008 Jul 24;51(14):4150-69. doi: 10.1021/jm701575k. Epub 2008 Jun 28.

Identification of a potent, selective, and orally active leukotriene a4 hydrolase inhibitor with anti-inflammatory activity.

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Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C., 3210 Merryfield Row, San Diego, California 92121, USA.


LTA 4H is a ubiquitously distributed 69 kDa zinc-containing cytosolic enzyme with both hydrolase and aminopeptidase activity. As a hydrolase, LTA 4H stereospecifically catalyzes the transformation of the unstable epoxide LTA 4 to the diol LTB 4, a potent chemoattractant and activator of neutrophils and a chemoattractant of eosinophils, macrophages, mast cells, and T cells. Inhibiting the formation of LTB 4 is expected to be beneficial in the treatment of inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), asthma, and atherosclerosis. We developed a pharmacophore model using a known inhibitor manually docked into the active site of LTA 4H to identify a subset of compounds for screening. From this work we identified a series of benzoxazole, benzthiazole, and benzimidazole inhibitors. SAR studies resulted in the identification of several potent inhibitors with an appropriate cross-reactivity profile and excellent PK/PD properties. Our efforts focused on further profiling JNJ 27265732, which showed encouraging efficacy in a disease model relevant to IBD.

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