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J Med Chem. 2012 Nov 26;55(22):9722-34. doi: 10.1021/jm3009508. Epub 2012 Oct 26.

An oral sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor 1 (S1P(1)) antagonist prodrug with efficacy in vivo: discovery, synthesis, and evaluation.

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Novartis Pharma AG, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, 4002 Basel, Switzerland.


A prodrug approach to optimize the oral exposure of a series of sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor 1 (S1P(1)) antagonists for chronic efficacy studies led to the discovery of (S)-2-{[3'-(4-chloro-2,5-dimethylphenylsulfonylamino)-3,5-dimethylbiphenyl-4-carbonyl]methylamino}-4-dimethylaminobutyric acid methyl ester 14. Methyl ester prodrug 14 is hydrolyzed in vivo to the corresponding carboxylic acid 15, a potent and selective S1P(1) antagonist. Oral administration of the prodrug 14 induces sustained peripheral blood lymphocyte reduction in rats. In a rat cardiac transplantation model coadministration of a nonefficacious dose of prodrug 14 with a nonefficacious dose of sotrastaurin (19), a protein kinase C inhibitor, or everolimus (20), an mTOR inhibitor, effectively prolonged the survival time of rat cardiac allografts. This demonstrates that clinically useful immunomodulation mediated by the S1P(1) receptor can be achieved with an S1P(1) antagonist generated in vivo after oral administration of its prodrug.

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