In search for prodrugs to address the issue of pH-dependent solubility and exposure associated with 1 (BMS-582949), a previously disclosed phase II clinical p38α MAP kinase inhibitor, a structurally novel clinical prodrug, 2 (BMS-751324), featuring a carbamoylmethylene linked promoiety containing hydroxyphenyl acetic acid (HPA) derived ester and phosphate functionalities, was identified. Prodrug 2 was not only stable but also water-soluble under both acidic and neutral conditions. It was effectively bioconverted into parent drug 1 in vivo by alkaline phosphatase and esterase in a stepwise manner, providing higher exposure of 1 compared to its direct administration, especially within higher dose ranges. In a rat LPS-induced TNFα pharmacodynamic model and a rat adjuvant arthritis model, 2 demonstrated similar efficacy to 1. Most importantly, it was shown in clinical studies that prodrug 2 was indeed effective in addressing the pH-dependent absorption issue associated with 1.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Drug Discovery