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J Med Chem. 2016 Jan 28;59(2):609-23. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.5b01372. Epub 2016 Jan 8.

Discovery of Vibegron: A Potent and Selective β3 Adrenergic Receptor Agonist for the Treatment of Overactive Bladder.

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Merck Research Laboratories , 2015 Galloping Hill Road, PO Box 539, Kenilworth, New Jersey 07033, United States.


The discovery of vibegron, a potent and selective human β3-AR agonist for the treatment of overactive bladder (OAB), is described. An early-generation clinical β3-AR agonist MK-0634 (3) exhibited efficacy in humans for the treatment of OAB, but development was discontinued due to unacceptable structure-based toxicity in preclinical species. Optimization of a series of second-generation pyrrolidine-derived β3-AR agonists included reducing the risk for phospholipidosis, the risk of formation of disproportionate human metabolites, and the risk of formation of high levels of circulating metabolites in preclinical species. These efforts resulted in the discovery of vibegron, which possesses improved druglike properties and an overall superior preclinical profile compared to MK-0634. Structure-activity relationships leading to the discovery of vibegron and a summary of its preclinical profile are described.

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