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Macrocyclic Prodrugs of a Selective Nonpeptidic Direct Thrombin Inhibitor Display High Permeability, Efficient Bioconversion but Low Bioavailability

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posted on 2016-06-27, 00:00 authored by Vincent Andersson, Fredrik Bergström, Jonas Brånalt, Gunnar Grönberg, David Gustafsson, Staffan Karlsson, Magnus Polla, Joakim Bergman, Jan Kihlberg
The only oral direct thrombin inhibitors that have reached the market, ximelagatran and dabigatran etexilat, are double prodrugs with low bioavailability in humans. We have evaluated an alternative strategy: the preparation of a nonpeptidic, polar direct thrombin inhibitor as a single, macrocyclic esterase-cleavable (acyloxy)­alkoxy prodrug. Two homologous prodrugs were synthesized and displayed high solubilities and Caco-2 cell permeabilities, suggesting high absorption from the intestine. In addition, they were rapidly and completely converted to the active zwitterionic thrombin inhibitor in human hepatocytes. Unexpectedly, the most promising prodrug displayed only moderately higher oral bioavailability in rat than the polar direct thrombin inhibitor, most likely due to rapid metabolism in the intestine or the intestinal wall. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first in vivo ADME study of macrocyclic (acyloxy)­alkoxy prodrugs, and it remains to be established if the modest increase in bioavailability is a general feature of this category of prodrugs or not.

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