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Discovery of Novel TRPM8 Blockers Suitable for the Treatment of Somatic and Ocular Painful Conditions: A Journey through pKa and LogD Modulation

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posted on 2021-11-11, 17:34 authored by Gianluca Bianchini, Mara Tomassetti, Samuele Lillini, Anna Sirico, Silvia Bovolenta, Lorena Za, Chiara Liberati, Rubina Novelli, Andrea Aramini
Transient receptor potential melastatin 8 (TRPM8) is crucially involved in pain modulation and perception, and TRPM8 antagonists have been proposed as potential therapeutic approaches for pain treatment. Previously, we developed two TRPM8 antagonists and proposed them as drug candidates for topical and systemic pain treatment. Here, we describe the design and synthesis of these two TRPM8 antagonists (27 and 45) and the rational approach of modulation/replacement of bioisosteric chemical groups, which allowed us to identify a combination of narrow ranges of pKa and LogD values that were crucial to ultimately optimize their potency and metabolic stability. Following the same approach, we then pursued the development of new TRPM8 antagonists suitable for the topical treatment of ocular painful conditions and identified two new compounds (51 and 59), N-alkoxy amide derivatives, that can permeate across ocular tissue and reduce the behavioral responses induced by the topical ocular menthol challenge in vivo.

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