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Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2011 Sep 15;21(18):5283-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2011.07.030. Epub 2011 Jul 14.

N-(2-alkylaminoethyl)-4-(1,2,4-oxadiazol-5-yl)piperazine-1-carboxamides as highly potent smoothened antagonists.

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IRBM, Merck Research Laboratories Rome, Via Pontina km 30,600, Pomezia, 00040 Rome, Italy.


Smoothened (Smo) antagonists are emerging as new therapies for the treatment of neoplasias with aberrantly reactivated hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway. A novel series of 4-[3-(quinolin-2-yl)-1,2,4-oxadiazol-5-yl]piperazinyl ureas as smoothened antagonists was recently described, herein the series has been further optimized through the incorporation of a basic amine into the urea. This development resulted in identification of some exceptionally potent smoothened antagonists with low serum shifts, however, reductive ring opening on the 1,2,4-oxadiazole in rats limits the applicability of these compounds in in vivo studies.

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