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Discovery of the Potent, Selective, Orally Available CXCR7 Antagonist ACT-1004-1239

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journal contribution
posted on 14.12.2020, 14:36 by Sylvia Richard-Bildstein, Hamed Aissaoui, Julien Pothier, Gabriel Schäfer, Carmela Gnerre, Eleanor Lindenberg, François Lehembre, Laetitia Pouzol, Philippe Guerry
The chemokine receptor CXCR7, also known as ACKR3, is a seven-transmembrane G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) involved in various pathologies such as neurological diseases, autoimmune diseases, and cancers. By binding and scavenging the chemokines CXCL11 and CXCL12, CXCR7 regulates their extracellular levels. From an original high-throughput screening campaign emerged hit 3 among others. The hit-to-lead optimization led to the discovery of a novel chemotype series exemplified by the trans racemic compound 11i. This series provided CXCR7 antagonists that block CXCL11- and CXCL12-induced ß-arrestin recruitment. Further structural modifications on the trisubstituted piperidine scaffold of 11i yielded compounds with high CXCR7 antagonistic activities and balanced ADMET properties. The effort described herein culminated in the discovery of ACT-1004-1239 (28f). Biological characterization of ACT-1004-1239 demonstrated that it is a potent, insurmountable antagonist. Oral administration of ACT-1004-1239 in mice up to 100 mg/kg led to a dose-dependent increase of plasma CXCL12 concentration.