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J Med Chem. 2016 Aug 25;59(16):7389-409. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.5b01960. Epub 2016 Apr 5.

Gamma Secretase Modulators: New Alzheimer's Drugs on the Horizon?

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FORUM Pharmaceuticals , 225 Second Avenue, Waltham, Massachusetts 02451, United States.


The rapidly aging population desperately requires new therapies for Alzheimer's disease. Despite years of pharmaceutical research, limited clinical success has been realized, with several failed disease modification therapies in recent years. On the basis of compelling genetic evidence, the pharmaceutical industry has put a large emphasis on brain beta amyloid (Aβ) either through its removal via antibodies or by targeting the proteases responsible for its production. In this Perspective, we focus on the development of small molecules that improve the activity of one such protease, gamma secretase, through an allosteric binding site to preferentially increase the concentration of the shorter non-amyloidogenic Aβ species. After a few early failures due to poor drug-like properties, the industry is now on the cusp of delivering gamma secretase modulators for clinical proof-of-mechanism studies that combine potency and efficacy with improved drug-like properties such as lower cLogP, high central nervous system multiparameter optimization scores, and high sp(3) character.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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