American Chemical Society
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N-Pyridyl and Pyrimidine Benzamides as KCNQ2/Q3 Potassium Channel Openers for the Treatment of Epilepsy

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journal contribution
posted on 2011-06-09, 00:00 authored by George Amato, Rosemarie Roeloffs, Greg C. Rigdon, Brett Antonio, Theresa Mersch, Grant McNaughton-Smith, Alan D. Wickenden, Paul Fritch, Mark J. Suto
A series of N-pyridyl benzamide KCNQ2/Q3 potassium channel openers were identified and found to be active in animal models of epilepsy and pain. The best compound 12 [ICA-027243, N-(6-chloro-pyridin-3-yl)-3,4-difluoro-benzamide] has an EC50 of 0.38 μM and is selective for KCNQ2/Q3 channels. This compound was active in several rodent models of epilepsy and pain but upon repeated dosing had a number of unacceptable toxicities that prevented further development. On the basis of the structure−activity relationships developed around 12, a second compound, 51, [N-(2-chloro-pyrimidin-5-yl)-3,4-difluoro-benzamide, ICA-069673], was prepared and advanced into a phase 1 clinical study. Herein, we describe the structure−activity relationships that led to the identification of compound 12 and to the corresponding pyrimidine 51.