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ChemMedChem. 2018 Aug 10;13(15):1508-1512. doi: 10.1002/cmdc.201800271. Epub 2018 Jul 4.

Efficient Synthesis of Immunomodulatory Drug Analogues Enables Exploration of Structure-Degradation Relationships.

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Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Yale University, 219 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT, 06520-8103, USA.
Arvinas LLC, 5 Science Park, 395 Winchester Avenue, New Haven, CT, 06511, USA.
Departments of Chemistry and Pharmacology, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.


The immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs) thalidomide, pomalidomide, and lenalidomide have been approved for the treatment of multiple myeloma for many years. Recently, their use as E3 ligase recruiting elements for small-molecule-induced protein degradation has led to a resurgence in interest in IMiD synthesis and functionalization. Traditional IMiD synthesis follows a stepwise route with multiple purification steps. Herein we describe a novel one-pot synthesis without purification that provides rapid access to a multitude of IMiD analogues. Binding studies with the IMiD target protein cereblon (CRBN) reveals a narrow structure-activity relationship with only a few compounds showing sub-micromolar binding affinity in the range of pomalidomide and lenalidomide. However, anti-proliferative activity as well as Aiolos degradation could be identified for two IMiD analogues. This study provides useful insight into the structure-degradation relationships for molecules of this type as well as a rapid and robust method for IMiD synthesis.


cereblon; condensation reactions; imides; immunomodulatory drugs; protein degradation

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