Free fatty acid receptor 1 (GPR40) agonists containing spirocyclic periphery inspired by LY2881835
Biorg. Med. Chem. 2016, 24 (21), 5481-5494
The free fatty acid receptor 1 (FFA1), a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) naturally activated by long-chain fatty acids is a novel target for the treatment of metabolic diseases. The basic amine spirocyclic periphery of Eli Lilly’s drug candidate LY2881835 for treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus (which reached phase I clinical trials) inspired a series of novel FFA1 agonists. These were designed to incorporate the 3-[4-(benzyloxy)phenyl]propanoic acid pharmacophore core decorated with a range of spirocyclic motifs. The latter were prepared via the Prins cyclization and subsequent modification of the 4-hydroxytetrahydropyran moiety in the Prins product. Here, we synthesize 19 compounds and test for FFA1 activity. Within this pilot set, a nanomolar potency (EC50 = 55 nM) was reached. Four lead compounds (EC50 range 55–410 nM) were characterized for aqueous solubility, metabolic stability, plasma protein binding and Caco-2 permeability. While some instability in the presence of mouse liver microsomes was noted, mouse pharmacokinetic profile of the compound having the best overall ADME properties was evaluated to reveal acceptable bioavailability (F = 10.3%) and plasma levels achieved on oral administration.