Novel free fatty acid receptor 1 (GPR40) agonists based on 1,3,4-thiadiazole-2-carboxamide scaffold

Bioorg Med Chem. 2016 Jul 1;24(13):2954-2963. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2016.04.065. Epub 2016 May 5.


Free fatty acid receptor 1 (FFA1), previously known as GPR40 is a G protein-coupled receptor and a new target for treatment of type 2 diabetes. Two series of FFA1 agonists utilizing a 1,3,4-thiadiazole-2-caboxamide scaffold were synthetized. Both series offered significant improvement of the potency compared to the previously described 1,3,4-thiadiazole-based FFA1 agonists and high selectivity for FFA1. Molecular docking predicts new aromatic interactions with the receptor that improve agonist potency. The most potent compounds from both series were profiled for in vitro ADME properties (plasma and metabolic stability, LogD, plasma protein binding, hERG binding and CYP inhibition). One series suffered very rapid degradation in plasma and in presence of mouse liver microsomes. However, the other series delivered a lead compound that displayed a reasonable ADME profile together with the improved FFA1 potency.

Keywords: Aqueous solubility; Bioisosteric replacement; FFA1 agonists; Free fatty acid receptor 1; GPR40; Metabolic stability; Total polar surface area; cLogP.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amides / chemistry
  • Amides / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / chemistry
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Microsomes, Liver / chemistry
  • Microsomes, Liver / drug effects*
  • Molecular Docking Simulation
  • Protein Binding / drug effects
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / agonists*
  • Thiadiazoles / chemistry


  • Amides
  • FFAR1 protein, human
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Thiadiazoles
  • 1,3,4-thiadiazole