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J Med Chem. 2011 Jul 28;54(14):5116-30. doi: 10.1021/jm2003359. Epub 2011 Jun 23.

Imidazolopiperazines: hit to lead optimization of new antimalarial agents.

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Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation, 10675 John Jay Hopkins Drive, San Diego, California 92121, USA.


Starting from a hit series from a GNF compound library collection and based on a cell-based proliferation assay of Plasmodium falciparum, a novel imidazolopiperazine scaffold was optimized. SAR for this series of compounds is discussed, focusing on optimization of cellular potency against wild-type and drug resistant parasites and improvement of physiochemical and pharmacokinetic properties. The lead compounds in this series showed good potencies in vitro and decent oral exposure levels in vivo. In a Plasmodium berghei mouse infection model, one lead compound lowered the parasitemia level by 99.4% after administration of 100 mg/kg single oral dose and prolonged mice survival by an average of 17.0 days. The lead compounds were also well-tolerated in the preliminary in vitro toxicity studies and represents an interesting lead for drug development.

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