Hit to Lead Account of the Discovery of Bisbenzamide and Related Ureidobenzamide Inhibitors of Rho Kinase

A highly selective series of bisbenzamide inhibitors of Rho-associated coiled-coil forming protein kinase (ROCK) and a related ureidobenzamide series, both identified by high throughput screening (HTS), are described. Details of the hit validation and lead generation process, including structure−activity relationship (SAR) studies, a selectivity assessment, target-independent profiling (TIP) results, and an analysis of functional activity using a rat aortic ring assay are discussed.