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J Med Chem. 2015 Jul 9;58(13):5189-207. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.5b00183. Epub 2015 May 31.

Discovery of N-(4-(3-(2-aminopyrimidin-4-yl)pyridin-2-yloxy)phenyl)-4-(4-methylthiophen-2-yl)phthalazin-1-amine (AMG 900), a highly selective, orally bioavailable inhibitor of aurora kinases with activity against multidrug-resistant cancer cell lines.

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†Departments of Medicinal Chemistry, ‡Pharmaceutical Research and Development, §Pharmacokinetics and Drug Metabolism, ∥Molecular Structure, and ⊥Oncology Research, Amgen Inc., 360 Binney Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142, United States, and Amgen Inc., One Amgen Center Drive, Thousand Oaks, California 91320, United States.


Efforts to improve upon the physical properties and metabolic stability of Aurora kinase inhibitor 14a revealed that potency against multidrug-resistant cell lines was compromised by increased polarity. Despite its high in vitro metabolic intrinsic clearance, 23r (AMG 900) showed acceptable pharmacokinetic properties and robust pharmacodynamic activity. Projecting from in vitro data to in vivo target coverage was not practical due to disjunctions between enzyme and cell data, complex and apparently contradictory indicators of binding kinetics, and unmeasurable free fraction in plasma. In contrast, it was straightforward to relate pharmacokinetics to pharmacodynamics and efficacy by following the time above a threshold concentration. On the basis of its oral route of administration, a selectivity profile that favors Aurora-driven pharmacology and its activity against multidrug-resistant cell lines, 23r was identified as a potential best-in-class Aurora kinase inhibitor. In phase 1 dose expansion studies with G-CSF support, 23r has shown promising single agent activity.

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