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J Med Chem. 2008 Oct 23;51(20):6503-11. doi: 10.1021/jm800856c. Epub 2008 Oct 1.

Discovery of 3-{5-[(6-amino-1H-pyrazolo[3,4-b]pyridine-3-yl)methoxy]-2-chlorophenoxy}-5-chlorobenzonitrile (MK-4965): a potent, orally bioavailable HIV-1 non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor with improved potency against key mutant viruses.

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Departments of Medicinal Chemistry and Structural Biology, Merck Research Laboratories, WP14-3, 770 Sumneytown Pike, P.O. Box 4, West Point, PennsylVania 19486-0004, USA.


Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) have been shown to be a key component of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). The use of NNRTIs has become part of standard combination antiviral therapies producing clinical outcomes with efficacy comparable to other antiviral regimens. There is, however, a critical issue with the emergence of clinical resistance, and a need has arisen for novel NNRTIs with a broad spectrum of activity against key HIV-1 RT mutations. Using a combination of traditional medicinal chemistry/SAR analyses, crystallography, and molecular modeling, we have designed and synthesized a series of novel, highly potent NNRTIs that possess broad spectrum antiviral activity and good pharmacokinetic profiles. Further refinement of key compounds in this series to optimize physical properties and pharmacokinetics has resulted in the identification of 8e (MK-4965), which has high levels of potency against wild-type and key mutant viruses, excellent oral bioavailability and overall pharmacokinetics, and a clean ancillary profile.

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