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J Med Chem. 2011 Dec 8;54(23):8000-12. doi: 10.1021/jm200789r. Epub 2011 Oct 26.

Discovery of aminobenzyloxyarylamides as κ opioid receptor selective antagonists: application to preclinical development of a κ opioid receptor antagonist receptor occupancy tracer.

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Lilly Research Laboratories, Lilly Corporate Center, Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, Indiana 46285-0150, United States.


Arylphenylpyrrolidinylmethylphenoxybenzamides were found to have high affinity and selectivity for κ opioid receptors. On the basis of receptor binding assays in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells expressing cloned human opioid receptors, (S)-3-fluoro-4-(4-((2-(3-fluorophenyl)pyrrolidin-1-yl)methyl)phenoxy)benzamide (25) had a K(i) = 0.565 nM for κ opioid receptor binding while having a K(i) = 35.8 nM for μ opioid receptors and a K(i) = 211 nM for δ opioid receptor binding. Compound 25 was also a potent antagonist of κ opioid receptors when tested in vitro using a [(35)S]-guanosine 5'O-[3-thiotriphosphate] ([(35)S]GTP-γ-S) functional assay in CHO cells expressing cloned human opioid receptors. Compounds were also evaluated for potential use as receptor occupancy tracers. Tracer evaluation was done in vivo, using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) methods, precluding the need for radiolabeling. (S)-3-Chloro-4-(4-((2-(pyridine-3-yl)pyrrolidin-1-yl)methyl)phenoxy)benzamide (18) was found to have favorable properties for a tracer for receptor occupancy, including good specific versus nonspecific binding and good brain uptake.

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