Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) can be targeted for the treatment of pain associated with various medical conditions. Herein we report the design and synthesis of a novel series of heterocyclic-N-carboxamide FAAH inhibitors that have a good alignment of potency, metabolic stability and selectivity for FAAH over monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) and carboxylesterases (CEs). Lead optimization efforts carried out with benzotriazolyl- and imidazolyl-N-carboxamide series led to the discovery of clinical candidate 8 l (3-(1-(cyclohexyl(methyl)carbamoyl)-1H-imidazol-4-yl)pyridine 1-oxide; BIA 10-2474) as a potent and long-acting inhibitor of FAAH. However, during a Phase I clinical trial with compound 8 l, unexpected and unpredictable serious neurological adverse events occurred, affecting five healthy volunteers, including the death of one subject.
Keywords: BIA 10-2474; anandamide; fatty acid amide hydrolase; pain; target selectivity.
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