Discovery of 2‑(2-Oxo-1-phenyl-5-pyridin-2-yl-1,2-dihydropyridin-3-yl)benzonitrile (Perampanel): A Novel, Noncompetitive α‑Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropanoic Acid (AMPA) Receptor Antagonist

Dysfunction of glutamatergic neurotransmission has been implicated in the pathogenesis of epilepsy and numerous other neurological diseases. Here we describe the discovery of a series of 1,3,5-triaryl-1H-pyridin-2-one derivatives as noncompetitive antagonists of AMPA-type ionotropic glutamate receptors. The structure–activity relationships for this series of compounds were investigated by manipulating individual aromatic rings located at positions 1, 3, and 5 of the pyridone ring. This culminated in the discovery of 2-(2-oxo-1-phenyl-5-pyridin-2-yl-1,2-dihydropyridin-3-yl)­benzonitrile (perampanel, 6), a novel, noncompetitive AMPA receptor antagonist that showed potent activity in an in vitro AMPA-induced Ca2+ influx assay (IC50 = 60 nM) and in an in vivo AMPA-induced seizure model (minimum effective dose of 2 mg/kg po). Perampanel is currently in regulatory submission for partial-onset seizures associated with epilepsy.