OT-82, a novel anticancer drug candidate that targets the strong dependence of hematological malignancies on NAD biosynthesis

Leukemia. 2020 Jul;34(7):1828-1839. doi: 10.1038/s41375-019-0692-5. Epub 2020 Jan 2.


Effective treatment of some types of cancer can be achieved by modulating cell lineage-specific rather than tumor-specific targets. We conducted a systematic search for novel agents selectively toxic to cells of hematopoietic origin. Chemical library screenings followed by hit-to-lead optimization identified OT-82, a small molecule with strong efficacy against hematopoietic malignancies including acute myeloblastic and lymphoblastic adult and pediatric leukemias, erythroleukemia, multiple myeloma, and Burkitt's lymphoma in vitro and in mouse xenograft models. OT-82 was also more toxic towards patients-derived leukemic cells versus healthy bone marrow-derived hematopoietic precursors. OT-82 was shown to induce cell death by inhibiting nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT), the rate-limiting enzyme in the salvage pathway of NAD synthesis. In mice, optimization of OT-82 dosing and dietary niacin further expanded the compound's therapeutic index. In toxicological studies conducted in mice and nonhuman primates, OT-82 showed no cardiac, neurological or retinal toxicities observed with other NAMPT inhibitors and had no effect on mouse aging or longevity. Hematopoietic and lymphoid organs were identified as the primary targets for dose limiting toxicity of OT-82 in both species. These results reveal strong dependence of neoplastic cells of hematopoietic origin on NAMPT and introduce OT-82 as a promising candidate for the treatment of hematological malignancies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis
  • Benzamides / chemistry*
  • Benzamides / pharmacology*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cytokines / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Female
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / pathology
  • High-Throughput Screening Assays
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • NAD / metabolism*
  • Niacin / pharmacology*
  • Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Pyrazoles / chemistry*
  • Pyrazoles / pharmacology*
  • Pyridines / chemistry*
  • Pyridines / pharmacology*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Benzamides
  • Cytokines
  • OT-82
  • Pyrazoles
  • Pyridines
  • NAD
  • Niacin
  • Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase
  • nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase, human