Acylaminobenzothiazole hits were identified as potential inhibitors of Trypanosoma cruzi replication, a parasite responsible for Chagas disease. We selected compound 1 for lead optimization, aiming to improve in parallel its anti-T. cruzi activity (IC50 = 0.63 μM) and its human metabolic stability (human clearance = 9.57 mL/min/g). A total of 39 analogues of 1 were synthesized and tested in vitro. We established a multiparametric structure-activity relationship, allowing optimization of antiparasite activity, physicochemical parameters, and ADME properties. We identified compound 50 as an advanced lead with an improved anti-T. cruzi activity in vitro (IC50 = 0.079 μM) and an enhanced metabolic stability (human clearance = 0.41 mL/min/g) and opportunity for the oral route of administration. After tolerability assessment, 50 demonstrated a promising in vivo efficacy.
Charlotte Fleau, Angel Padilla, Juan Miguel-Siles, Maria T. Quesada-Campos, Isabel Saiz-Nicolas, Ignacio Cotillo, Juan Cantizani Perez, Rick L. Tarleton, Maria Marco, Gilles Courtemanche. J Med Chem. 2019. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.9b01429.