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J Med Chem. 2013 Oct 24;56(20):8032-48. doi: 10.1021/jm401094t. Epub 2013 Oct 3.

Discovery, synthesis, and characterization of an orally bioavailable, brain penetrant inhibitor of mixed lineage kinase 3.

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Califia Bio Inc. , 11575 Sorrento Valley Road, San Diego 92121, California, United States.


Inhibition of mixed lineage kinase 3 (MLK3) is a potential strategy for treatment of Parkinson's disease and HIV-1 associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND), requiring an inhibitor that can achieve significant brain concentration levels. We report here URMC-099 (1) an orally bioavailable (F = 41%), potent (IC50 = 14 nM) MLK3 inhibitor with excellent brain exposure in mouse PK models and minimal interference with key human CYP450 enzymes or hERG channels. The compound inhibits LPS-induced TNFα release in microglial cells, HIV-1 Tat-induced release of cytokines in human monocytes and up-regulation of phospho-JNK in Tat-injected brains of mice. Compound 1 likely functions in HAND preclinical models by inhibiting multiple kinase pathways, including MLK3 and LRRK2 (IC50 = 11 nM). We compare the kinase specificity and BBB penetration of 1 with CEP-1347 (2). Compound 1 is well tolerated, with excellent in vivo activity in HAND models, and is under investigation for further development.

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