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J Med Chem. 2018 Jun 14;61(11):4810-4831. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.7b01826. Epub 2018 May 23.

Design of Conformationally Constrained Acyl Sulfonamide Isosteres: Identification of N-([1,2,4]Triazolo[4,3- a]pyridin-3-yl)methane-sulfonamides as Potent and Selective hNaV1.7 Inhibitors for the Treatment of Pain.

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Xenon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. , 200-3650 Gilmore Way , Burnaby , BC V5G 4W8 , Canada.
Genentech, Inc. , 1 DNA Way , South San Francisco , California 94080 , United States.
Chempartner , Building No. 5, 998 Halei Rd. , Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, Pudong New Area, Shanghai 201203 , China.


The sodium channel NaV1.7 has emerged as a promising target for the treatment of pain based on strong genetic validation of its role in nociception. In recent years, a number of aryl and acyl sulfonamides have been reported as potent inhibitors of NaV1.7, with high selectivity over the cardiac isoform NaV1.5. Herein, we report on the discovery of a novel series of N-([1,2,4]triazolo[4,3- a]pyridin-3-yl)methanesulfonamides as selective NaV1.7 inhibitors. Starting with the crystal structure of an acyl sulfonamide, we rationalized that cyclization to form a fused heterocycle would improve physicochemical properties, in particular lipophilicity. Our design strategy focused on optimization of potency for block of NaV1.7 and human metabolic stability. Lead compounds 10, 13 (GNE-131), and 25 showed excellent potency, good in vitro metabolic stability, and low in vivo clearance in mouse, rat, and dog. Compound 13 also displayed excellent efficacy in a transgenic mouse model of induced pain.

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