Highly Potent 17β-HSD2 Inhibitors with a Promising Pharmacokinetic Profile for Targeted Osteoporosis Therapy

J Med Chem. 2018 Dec 13;61(23):10724-10738. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.8b01373. Epub 2018 Nov 27.


Intracellular elevation of E2 levels in bone by inhibition of 17β hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 (17β-HSD2) without affecting systemic E2 levels is an attractive approach for a targeted therapy against osteoporosis, a disease which is characterized by loss of bone mineral density. Previously identified inhibitor A shows high potency on human and mouse 17β-HSD2, but poor pharmacokinetic properties when applied perorally in mice. A combinatorial chemistry approach was utilized to synthesize truncated derivatives of A, leading to highly potent compounds with activities in the low nanomolar to picomolar range. Compound 33, comparable to A in terms of inhibitor potency against both human and mouse enzymes, displays high in vitro metabolic stability in human and mouse liver S9 fraction as well as low toxicity and moderate hepatic CYP inhibition. Thus, compound 33 showed a highly improved peroral pharmacokinetic profile in comparison to A, making 33 a promising candidate for further development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drug Design*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacokinetics*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Estradiol Dehydrogenases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Osteoporosis / drug therapy*
  • Solubility
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Water / chemistry


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Water
  • Estradiol Dehydrogenases