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J Med Chem. 2018 May 10;61(9):4052-4066. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.8b00082. Epub 2018 Apr 23.

Highlights of the Structure-Activity Relationships of Benzimidazole Linked Pyrrolidines Leading to the Discovery of the Hepatitis C Virus NS5A Inhibitor Pibrentasvir (ABT-530).

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Global Pharmaceutical Research and Development , AbbVie , 1 North Waukegan Road , North Chicago , Illinois 60064 , United States.


Curative interferon and ribavirin sparing treatments for hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected patients require a combination of mechanistically orthogonal direct acting antivirals. A shared component of these treatments is usually an HCV NS5A inhibitor. First generation FDA approved treatments, including the component NS5A inhibitors, do not exhibit equivalent efficacy against HCV virus genotypes 1-6. In particular, these first generation NS5A inhibitors tend to select for viral drug resistance. Ombitasvir is a first generation HCV NS5A inhibitor included as a key component of Viekira Pak for the treatment of patients with HCV genotype 1 infection. Since the launch of next generation HCV treatments, functional cure for genotype 1-6 HCV infections has been achieved, as well as shortened treatment duration across a wider spectrum of genotypes. In this paper, we show how we have modified the anchor, linker, and end-cap architecture of our NS5A inhibitor design template to discover a next generation NS5A inhibitor pibrentasvir (ABT-530), which exhibits potent inhibition of the replication of wild-type genotype 1-6 HCV replicons, as well as improved activity against replicon variants demonstrating resistance against first generation NS5A inhibitors.

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