Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) is an integral membrane serine hydrolase responsible for the degradation of fatty acid amide signaling molecules such as endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA), which has been shown to possess cannabinoid-like analgesic properties. Herein we report the optimization of spirocyclic 7-azaspiro[3.5]nonane and 1-oxa-8-azaspiro[4.5]decane urea covalent inhibitors of FAAH. Using an iterative design and optimization strategy, lead compounds were identified with a remarkable reduction in molecular weight and favorable CNS drug like properties. 3,4-Dimethylisoxazole and 1-methyltetrazole were identified as superior urea moieties for this inhibitor class. A dual purpose in vivo efficacy and pharmacokinetic screen was designed to be the key decision enabling experiment affording the ability to move quickly from compound synthesis to selection of preclinical candidates. On the basis of the remarkable potency, selectivity, pharmacokinetic properties and in vivo efficacy, PF-04862853 (15p) was advanced as a clinical candidate.
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