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ACS Med Chem Lett. 2017 Aug 25;8(9):975-980. doi: 10.1021/acsmedchemlett.7b00293. eCollection 2017 Sep 14.

Discovery of CDZ173 (Leniolisib), Representing a Structurally Novel Class of PI3K Delta-Selective Inhibitors.

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Global Discovery Chemistry, PK Sciences, Chemical Biology and Therapeutics, and Autoimmunity, Transplantation and Inflammation, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Novartis Campus, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland.


The predominant expression of phosphoinositide 3-kinase δ (PI3Kδ) in leukocytes and its critical role in B and T cell functions led to the hypothesis that selective inhibitors of this isoform would have potential as therapeutics for the treatment of allergic and inflammatory disease. Targeting specifically PI3Kδ should avoid potential side effects associated with the ubiquitously expressed PI3Kα and β isoforms. We disclose how morphing the heterocyclic core of previously discovered 4,6-diaryl quinazolines to a significantly less lipophilic 5,6,7,8-tetrahydropyrido[4,3-d]pyrimidine, followed by replacement of one of the phenyl groups with a pyrrolidine-3-amine, led to a compound series with an optimal on-target profile and good ADME properties. A final lipophilicity adjustment led to the discovery of CDZ173 (leniolisib), a potent PI3Kδ selective inhibitor with suitable properties and efficacy for clinical development as an anti-inflammatory therapeutic. In vitro, CDZ173 inhibits a large spectrum of immune cell functions, as demonstrated in B and T cells, neutrophils, monocytes, basophils, plasmocytoid dendritic cells, and mast cells. In vivo, CDZ173 inhibits B cell activation in rats and monkeys in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. After prophylactic or therapeutic dosing, CDZ173 potently inhibited antigen-specific antibody production and reduced disease symptoms in a rat collagen-induced arthritis model. Structurally, CDZ173 differs significantly from the first generation of PI3Kδ and PI3Kγδ-selective clinical compounds. Therefore, CDZ173 could differentiate by a more favorable safety profile. CDZ173 is currently in clinical studies in patients suffering from primary Sjögren's syndrome and in APDS/PASLI, a disease caused by gain-of-function mutations of PI3Kδ.


B cell inhibition; PI3Kδ inhibitor; PK/PD studies; Phosphoinositide-3-kinase delta inhibitor; lead optimization; structure−activity relationship

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