PatentDe  


Dokumentenidentifikation EP1849762 13.12.2007
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0001849762
Titel Substituierte Biphenylcarbonsäuren und deren Derivate
Anmelder Cellzome (UK) Ltd., Little Chesterford, Cambridge, GB
Erfinder Wilson, Francis, Herts, AL7 4QJ, GB;
Reid, Alison, Cottenham, CB4 8SA, GB;
Reader, Valerie, Cambridge CB1 6JS, GB;
Harrison, Richard John, Essex, CB11 3HB, GB;
Sunose, Mihiro, Cambridge CB2 4EN, GB;
Hernandez-Perni, Remedios, Cheshire SK15 1NL, GB;
Major, Jeremy, Cambridge CB5 8TY, GB;
Boussard, Cyrille, Essex CB10 2AP, GB;
Smelt, Kathryn, London, EC1R 5HP, GB;
Taylor, Jess, Hertfordshire SG5 4PJ, GB;
Le Formal, Adeline, Saffron Walden CB11 4BH, GB;
Cansfield, Andrew, Cambridge CB2 5QT, GB;
Burckhardt, Svenja, Cambridge CB3 8NG, GB
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
Vertragsstaaten AT, BE, BG, CH, CY, CZ, DE, DK, EE, ES, FI, FR, GB, GR, HU, IE, IS, IT, LI, LT, LU, LV, MC, NL, PL, PT, RO, SE, SI, SK, TR
Sprache des Dokument EN
EP-Anmeldetag 21.04.2006
EP-Aktenzeichen 061129383
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 31.10.2007
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 13.12.2007
IPC-Hauptklasse C07C 59/68(2006.01)A, F, I, 20071002, B, H, EP
IPC-Nebenklasse A61K 31/192(2006.01)A, L, I, 20071002, B, H, EP   A61P 25/28(2006.01)A, L, I, 20071002, B, H, EP   

Beschreibung[en]

The present invention relates to compounds having the general formula (I) with the definitions of A, X, R1-R4 given below, and/or a salt or ester thereof.

Furthermore, the invention relates to the use of said compounds for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease and their use for the modulation of &ggr;-secretase activity.

Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder marked by loss of memory, cognition, and behavioral stability. AD afflicts 6-10% of the population over age 65 and up to 50% over age 85. It is the leading cause of dementia and the third leading cause of death after cardiovascular disease and cancer. There is currently no effective treatment for AD. The total net cost related to AD in the U.S. exceeds $100 billion annually.

AD does not have a simple etiology, however, it has been associated with certain risk factors including (1) age, (2) family history (3) and head trauma; other factors include environmental toxins and low level of education. Specific neuropathological lesions in the limbic and cerebral cortices include intracellular neurofibrillary tangles consisting of hyperphosphorylated tau protein and the extracellular deposition of fibrillar aggregates of amyloid beta peptides (amyloid plaques). The major component of amyloid plaques are the amyloid beta (A-beta, Abeta or A&bgr;) peptides of various lengths. A variant thereof, which is the A&bgr;1-42-peptide (Abeta-42), is believed to be the major causative agent for amyloid formation. Another variant is the A&bgr;1-40-peptide (Abeta-40). Amyloid beta is the proteolytic product of a precursor protein, beta amyloid precursor protein (beta-APP or APP).

Familial, early onset autosomal dominant forms of AD have been linked to missense mutations in the &bgr;-amyloid precursor protein (&bgr;-APP or APP) and in the presenilin proteins 1 and 2. In some patients, late onset forms of AD have been correlated with a specific allele of the apolipoprotein E (ApoE) gene, and, more recently, the finding of a mutation in alpha2-macroglobulin, which may be linked to at least 30% of the AD population. Despite this heterogeneity, all forms of AD exhibit similar pathological findings. Genetic analysis has provided the best clues for a logical therapeutic approach to AD. All mutations, found to date, affect the quantitative or qualitative production of the amyloidogenic peptides known as Abeta-peptides (A&bgr;), specifically A&bgr;42, and have given strong support to the "amyloid cascade hypothesis" of AD ( Tanzi and Bertram, 2005, Cell 120, 545 ). The likely link between A&bgr; peptide generation and AD pathology emphasizes the need for a better understanding of the mechanisms of A&bgr; production and strongly warrants a therapeutic approach at modulating A&bgr; levels.

The release of A&bgr; peptides is modulated by at least two proteolytic activities referred to as &bgr;- and &ggr;- secretase cleaving at the N-terminus (Met-Asp bond) and the C-terminus (residues 37-42) of the A&bgr; peptide, respectively. In the secretory pathway, there is evidence that &bgr;-secretase cleaves first, leading to the secretion of s-APP&bgr; (s&bgr;) and the retention of a 11 kDa membrane-bound carboxy terminal fragment (CTF). The latter is believed to give rise to A&bgr; peptides following cleavage by &ggr;-secretase. The amount of the longer isoform, A&bgr;42, is selectively increased in patients carrying certain mutations in a particular protein (presenilin), and these mutations have been correlated with early-onset familial Alzheimer's disease. Therefore, A&bgr;42 is believed by many researchers to be the main culprit of the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease.

It has now become clear that the &ggr;-secretase activity cannot be ascribed to a single particular protein, but is in fact associated with an assembly of different proteins.

The gamma-secretase activity resides within a multiprotein complex containing at least four components: the presenilin (PS) heterodimer, nicastrin, aph-1 and pen-2. The PS heterodimer consists of the amino- and carboxyterminal PS fragments generated by endoproteolysis of the precursor protein. The two aspartates of the catalytic site are at the interface of this heterodimer. It has recently been suggested that nicastrin serves as a gamma-secretase-substrate receptor. The functions of the other members of gamma-secretase are unknown, but they are all required for activity ( Steiner, 2004. Curr. Alzheimer Research 1(3): 175-181 ).

Thus, although the molecular mechanism of the second cleavage-step has remained elusive until present, the &ggr;-secretase-complex has become one of the prime targets in the search for compounds for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

Various strategies have been proposed for targeting gamma-secretase in Alzheimer's disease, ranging from targeting the catalytic site directly, developing substrate-specific inhibitors and modulators of gamma-secretase activity ( Marjaux et al., 2004. Drug Discovery Today: Therapeutic Strategies, Volume 1, 1-6 ). Accordingly, a variety of compounds were described that have secretases as targets ( Lamer, 2004. Secretases as therapeutics targets in Alzheimer's disease: patents 2000 - 2004. Expert Opin. Ther. Patents 14, 1403-1420 .)

Indeed, this finding was recently supported by biochemical studies in which an effect of certain NSAIDs on &ggr;-secretase was shown ( Weggen et al (2001) Nature 414, 6860, 212 and WO 01/78721 and US 2002/0128319 ; Morihara et al (2002) J. Neurochem. 83, 1009 ; Eriksen (2003) J. Clin. Invest. 112 , 440 ). Potential limitations for the use of NSAIDs to prevent or treat AD are their inhibition activity of Cox enzymes, which can lead to unwanted side effects, and their low CNS penetration ( Peretto et al., 2005, J. Med. Chem. 48, 5705-5720 ).

Thus, there is a strong need for novel compounds which modulate &ggr;-secretase activity thereby opening new avenues for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

The object of the present invention is to provide such compounds.

The object is achieved by a compound having the general formula (I) wherein

A is O, S or NH,

X is a bond or a group -CR5R6 wherein R5 and R6 are, independently of each other, selected from the group consisting ofH; alkyl selected from the group CH3, C2H5, i-C3H7, n-C3H7, i-C4H9, n-C4H9, sec-C4H9, tert-C4H9; alkenyl selected from C2H3, i-C3H5, n-C3H5, n-C4H7, i-C4H7, sec-C4H7; wherein in the all named alkyl and alkenyl groups one or more H atom is optionally substituted with one or more substituents independently selected from the group consisting ofF, Cl, Br, I and CF3; or R5 and R6 being part of a ring, either saturated or unsaturated, substituted or unsubstituted, having 3 to 6 C-atoms, and which may contain in the ring one or more heteroatoms from the group N, S or O, and which heteroatom may be identical or different if more than one heteroatom is present;

R1, R2, R3 and R4 are independently selected from the group consisting of H; F; Cl; Br; I; CN; OH; C(O)N(R7R8); S(O)2R7; SO2N(R7R8); S(O)N(R7R8); N(R7)S(O)2R8; N(R8)S(O)R8; S(O)2R7; N(R7)S(O)2N(R8R8a); SR7; N(R7R8); N(R7)C(O)R8; N(R7)C(O)N(R8R8a); N(R7)C(O)OR8; OC(O)N(R7R8); C(O)R7; substituted and unsubstituted C1-C4-alkyl and substituted and unsubstituted C1-C4-alkoxy, and wherein the substituents of both groups C1-C4-alkyl and C1-C4-alkoxy are selected from F, Cl, Br, I, CF3;

R7, R8, R8a are independently selected from the group consisting of H; C1-C4-alkyl; heterocyclyl; and C3-7 cycloalkyl, wherein C1-C4-alkyl; heterocyclyl; and C3-7 cycloalkyl are optionally substituted with one or more substituents independently selected from the group consisting of F, C1, Br, I and CF3;

Y is a carboxy group -C(O)OH or a substituted or unsubstituted tetrazole group and/or a salt or ester thereof

The term "substituted" as used herein includes both part and full substitution. Substituents can be either saturated or unsaturated.

In case R5 and R6 are part of a ring, the ring can be substituted by C1-C4-alkyl or F, Cl, Br, I and CF3

Esters are those according to formula (I) in which H of the carboxy group is replaced by an organic residue R7a. Suitable organic residues are known to a person skilled in the art. Preferred R7a include the following:

An unsubstituted or at least monosubstituted alkyl, preferably a C1-C10 alkyl, an alkenyl, preferably C2-C10-alkenyl, an alkynyl, preferably C3-C10-alkynyl, and an unsubstituted or at least monosubstituted, saturated or unsaturated, non-aromatic or aromatic ring having 3 to 6 C-atoms, and which may contain in the ring one or more heteroatoms from the group N, S or O, and which heteroatom may be identical or different if more than one heteroatom is present. Said substituents being selected from the group consisting of halogen, alkyl, alkenyl, alkynyl, N, S, O, carboxy, sulphonyl, and the like and which can be further substituted.

Examples for current aromatic groups include aryl groups, for example phenyl groups, and heteroaryl groups, which aryl and heteroaryl groups may be substituted, preferably by the substituents given above.

The term "C1-C4-alkyl" refers to methyl, ethyl, n-propyl, iso-propyl, n-butyl, iso-butyl and tert.-butyl.

"C3-7 cycloalkyl" or "C3-7 cycloalkyl ring" means a cyclic alkyl chain having 3 - 7 carbon atoms, e.g. cyclopropyl, cyclobutyl, cyclopentyl, cyclohexyl, cyclohexenyl, cycloheptyl. Each hydrogen of a cycloalkyl carbon may be replaced by a substituent.

"Heterocyclyl" or "heterocycle" means a cyclopentane, cyclohexane or cycloheptane ring that may contain up to the maximum number of double bonds (aromatic or non-aromatic ring which is fully, partially or un-saturated) wherein at least one carbon atom up to 4 carbon atoms are replaced by a heteroatom selected from the group consisting of sulfur (including -S(O)-, -S(O)2-), oxygen and nitrogen (including =N(O)-) and wherein the ring is linked to the rest of the molecule via a carbon or nitrogen atom. Examples for a heterocycle include but are not restricted to furan, thiophene, pyrrole, pyrroline, imidazole, imidazoline, pyrazole, pyrazoline, oxazole, oxazoline, isoxazole, isoxazoline, thiazole, thiazoline, isothiazole, isothiazoline, thiadiazole, thiadiazoline, tetrahydrofuran, tetrahydrothiophene, pyrrolidine, imidazolidine, pyrazolidine, oxazolidine, isoxazolidine, thiazolidine, isothiazolidine, thiadiazolidine, sulfolane, pyran, dihydropyran, tetrahydropyran, imidazolidine, pyridine, pyridazine, pyrazine, pyrimidine, piperazine, piperidine, morpholine, tetrazole, triazole, triazolidine, tetrazolidine, azepine or homopiperazine. "Heterocycle" means also azetidine.

In preferred embodiments, the invention relates to a compound having the general formula (I) wherein A, X; Y; R1 and R2; and R3, R4, R5 and R6 independently of each other have the following meanings:

  • A is O; and/or
  • X is a group -CR5R6 wherein R5 and R6 are, independently of each other, selected from the group consisting of H; alkyl selected from the group CH3, C2H5, i-C3H7, n-C3H7, i-C4H9, n-C4H9, sec-C4H9, tert-C4H9; wherein in the all named alkyl groups one or more H atom is optionally substituted with one or more substituents independently selected from the group consisting of F, Cl, Br and I; and/or
  • R1, R2, R3 and R4 are independently selected from the group consisting of H; OH; C1-C4-alkyl or C1-C4-alkoxy, substituted partly or fully by F, Cl, Br, I; and/or
  • R5 and R6 being H; or R5 being H and R6 being CH3, C2H5, C3H7 or C4H9 or isomers thereof; or R1 and R2 being CH3 or R1, R2 jointly form together with the carbon atom to which they are attached a cyclopropyl ring; and/or
  • Y is a carboxy group
  • and/or a salt or ester thereof

Within this group of embodiments, it is even more preferred if all the groups A; X; Y; R1, R2, R3, R4, R5 and R6 have the meanings defined beforehand.

It is even more preferred if A; X; Y; R1 and R2; and R3, R4, R5 and R6 independently of each other have the following meanings:

  • A is O; X is a group -CR5R6 with R5 and R6 being H; or R5 being H and R6 being CH3, C2H5, C3H7 or C4H9 or isomers thereof; or R5 and R6 being CH3 or R5, R6 jointly form together with the carbon atom to which they are attached a cyclopropyl ring; and/or
  • R1, R2, R3 and R4 are independently selected from the group consisting of H; OH; C1-C4-alkyl or C1-C4-alkoxy, substituted partly or fully by F, C1, Br, I; and/or
  • and/or
  • Y is a carboxy group
  • and/or a salt or ester thereof

Within this group of embodiments, it is even more preferred if all the groups A; X; Y; R1, R2, R3, R4, R5 and R6 have the meanings defined beforehand.

It is still more preferred if A; X; Y; R1 and R2; and R3, R4, R5 and R6 independently of each other have the following meanings:

  • AisO;
  • X is a group -CR5R6 , with R5 and R6 being H; or R5 being H and R6 being CH3, C2H5, C3H7 or C4H9 or isomers thereof;
  • Y is a carboxy group
  • R1, R2, R3 and R4 are independently selected from the group consisting of H, OH, CH3, OCH3, CF3, F, and Cl; and/or
  • and/or a salt or ester thereof

Within this group of embodiments, it is even more preferred if all the groups A; X; Y; R1 and R2; and R3, R4, R5 and R6 have the meanings defined beforehand.

In an even more preferred embodiment, the invention relates to compounds selected from the group consisting of

2-(5-(4-fluorophenoxy)-4'-trifluoromethyl-biphenyl-3-yl)-pentanoic acid (I)

2-(5-(phenoxy)-4'-trifluoromethyl-biphenyl-3-yl)-pentanoic acid (II)

Some of the compounds of the inventions and/or salts or esters thereof will exist in different stereoisomeric forms. All of these forms are subjects of the invention.

Described below are exemplary salts of the compounds according to the invention which are included herein. The list of the different salts stated below is not meant to be complete and limiting.

Compounds according to the invention which contain one or more acidic groups can be used according to the invention, e.g. as their alkali metal salts, alkaline earth metal salts or ammonium salts. More precise examples of such salts include sodium salts, potassium salts, calcium salts, magnesium salts or salts with ammonia or organic amines such as, e.g. ethylamine, ethanolamine, triethanolamine or amino acids.

Compounds according to the invention which contain one or more basic groups, i.e. groups which can be protonated, can be used according to the invention in the form of their addition salts with inorganic or organic acids.

Examples for suitable acids include hydrogen chloride, hydrogen bromide, phosphoric acid, sulfuric acid, nitric acid, methanesulfonic acid, p-toluenesulfonic acid, napthalenedisulfonic acid, oxalic acid, acetic acid, tartaric acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, benzoic acid, formic acid, propionic acid, pivalic acid, diethylacetic acid, malonic acid, succinic acid, pimelic acid, fumaric acid, maleic acid, malic acid, sulfamic acid, phenylpropionic acid, gluconic acid, ascorbic acid, isonicotinic acid, citric acid, adipic acid and other acids known to a person skilled in the art.

The term "pharmaceutically acceptable" means approved by a regulatory agency such as the EMEA (Europe) and/or the FDA (US) and/or any other national regulatory agency for use in animals, preferably in humans.

Compounds according to the invention which contain several basic groups can simultaneously form different salts.

If a compound according to the invention simultaneously contains acidic and basic groups in the molecule, the invention also includes, in addition to the salt forms mentioned, inner salts or betaines.

The respective salts of the compounds according to the invention can be obtained by customary methods which are known to the person skilled in the art, for example by contacting these with an organic or inorganic acid or base in a solvent or dispersant, or by anion exchange or cation exchange with other salts.

Furthermore, the invention includes all salts of the compounds according to the invention which, owing to low physiological compatibility, are not directly suitable for use in pharmaceuticals but which can be used, for example, as intermediates for chemical reactions or for the preparation of pharmaceutically acceptable salts or which might be suitable for studying &ggr;-secretase modulating activity of a compound according of the invention in any suitable manner, such as any suitable in vitro assay.

The present invention furthermore includes all solvates of the compounds according to the invention.

The present invention furthermore includes derivatives/prodrugs (including the salts thereof) of the compounds according to the invention which contain physiologically tolerable and cleavable groups and which are metabolized in animals, preferably mammals, most preferably humans into a compound according to the invention.

The present invention furthermore includes the metabolites of the compounds according to the invention.

The term "metabolites" refers to all molecules derived from any of the compounds according to the invention in a cell or organism, preferably mammal.

Preferably the term "metabolites" relates to molecules which differ from any molecule which is present in any such cell or organism under physiological conditions.

The structure of the metabolites of the compounds according to the invention will be obvious to any person skilled in the art, using the various appropriate methods.

The compounds according to general formula (I) can be prepared according to methods published in the literature or by analogous methods.

Depending on the circumstances of the individual case, in order to avoid side reactions during the synthesis of a compound of the general formula (I), it can be necessary or advantageous to temporarily block functional groups by introducing protective groups and to deprotect them in a later stage of the synthesis, or to introduce functional groups in the form of precursor groups and at a later stage to convert them into the desired functional groups. Suitable synthetic strategies, protective groups and precursor groups are known to the person skilled in the art.

If desired, the compounds of the formula (I) can be purified by customary purification procedures, for example by recrystallization or chromatography. The starting materials for the preparation of the compounds of the formula (I) are commercially available or can be prepared according to or analogously to literature procedures.

These can serve as a basis for the preparation of the other compounds according to the invention by several methods well known to the person skilled in the art.

The invention also relates to a compound of the invention for use as a medicament. The compounds are as defined above, furthermore with respect to the medicament the embodiments as desribed below with respect to the use of the invention, e.g. formulation, application and combination, also apply to this aspect of the invention.

In particular the compounds according to the invention are suitable for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

Details relating to said use are further disclosed below.

The compounds can be used for modulation of &ggr;-secretase activity.

As used herein, the term "modulation of &ggr;-secretase activity" refers to an effect on the processing of APP by the &ggr;-secretase-complex. Preferably it refers to an effect in which the overall rate of processing of APP remains essentially as without the application of said compounds, but in which the relative quantities of the processed products are changed, more preferably in such a way that the amount of the A&bgr;42-peptide produced is reduced. For example a different Abeta species can be produced (e.g. Abeta-38 or other Abeta peptide species of shorter amino acid sequence instead of Abeta-42) or the relative quantities of the products are different (e.g. the ratio of Abeta-40 to Abeta-42 is changed, preferably increased).

Gamma secretase activity can e.g. be measured by determining APP processing, e.g. by determining the levels of Abeta petide species produced, most importantly levels of Abeta-42 (see Example section, infra).

It has been previously shown that the &ggr;-secretase complex is also involved in the processing of the Notch-protein. Notch is a signaling protein which plays a crucial role in developmental processes (e.g. reviewed in Schweisguth F (2004) Curr. Biol. 14, R129 ).

With respect to the use of said compounds for the modulation of &ggr;-secretase activity in therapy, it seems particularly advantageous not to interfere with the Notch-processing activity of the &ggr;-secretase activity in order to avoid putative undesired side-effects.

Thus, compounds are preferred which do not show an effect on the Notch-processing activity of the &ggr;-secretase-complex.

Within the meaning of the invention, "effect on the Notch processing activity" includes both an inhibition or an activation of the Notch-processing activity by a certain factor.

A compound is defined as not having an effect on the Notch processing activity, if said factor is smaller than 20, preferably smaller than 10, more preferably smaller than 5, most preferably smaller than 2 in the respective assay as described in Shimizu et al (2000) Mol. Cell. Biol, 20: 6913 at a concentration of 30 µM.

Such a &ggr;-secretase modulation can be carried out, e.g. in animals such as mammals. Exemplary mammals are mice, rats, guinea pigs, monkeys, dogs, cats. The modulation can also be carried out in humans. In a particular embodiment of the invention, said modulation is performed in vitro or in cell culture. As known to the person skilled in the art, several in vitro and cell culture assays are available.

Exemplary assays useful for measuring the prodction of C-terminal APP fragments in cell lines or transgenic animals by Western blot analysis include but are not limited to those described in Yan et al., 1999, Nature 402, 533-537 .

An example of an in vitro &ggr;-secretase assay is described in WO-03/008635 . In this assay a suitable peptide substrate is contacted with a &ggr;-secretase preparation and the ability to cleave the substrate is measured..

Concentrations of the various products of the &ggr;-secretase cleavage (the Aß-peptides) can be determined by various methods known to a person skilled in the art. Examples for such methods include determination of the peptides by mass-spectrometry or detection by antibodies.

Exemplary assays useful for the characterization of the profile of soluble Abeta peptides in cultured cell media and biological fluids include but are not limited to those described by Wang et al., 1996, J. Biol. Chem. 271, 31894-31902 . In this assay a combination of immunoprecipitation of Abeta-peptides with specific antibodies and detection and quantification of the peptide species with matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry is used.

Exemplary assays useful for measuring the production of Abeta-40 and Abeta-42 peptides by ELISA include but are not limited to those described in Vassar et al, 1999, Science 286, 735-741 . Further information is disclosed for example in N. Ida et al. (1996) J. Biol. Chem. 271, 22908 , and M. Jensen et al. (2000) Mol. Med. 6, 291 . Suitable antibodies are available for example from The Genetics Company, Inc., Switzerland. Antibody-based kits are also available from Innogenetics, Belgium.

Cells which can be employed in such assays include cells which endogenously express the &ggr;-secretase complex and transfected cells which transiently or stably express some or all interactors of the &ggr;-secretase complex. Numerous available cell lines suitable for such assays are known to the skilled person. Cells and cell lines of neuronal or glial origin are particularly suitable. Furthermore, cells and tissues of the brain as well as homogenates and membrane preparations thereof may be used ( Xia et al., 1998, Biochemistry 37, 16465-16471 ).

Such assays might be carried out for example to study the effect of the compounds according to the invention in different experimental conditions and configurations.

Furthermore, such assays might be carried out as part of functional studies on the &ggr;-secretase complex.

For example, either one or more interactors (either in their wild-type form or carrying certain mutations and/or modifications) of the &ggr;-secretase complex of an animal, preferably a mammal, more preferably humans, might be expressed in certain cell lines and the effect of the compounds according to the invention might be studied.

Mutated forms of the interactor(s) used can either be mutated forms which have been described in certain animals, preferably mammals, more preferably humans or mutated forms which have not previously been described in said animals.

Modifications of the interactors of the &ggr;-secretase complex include both any physiological modification of said interactors and other modifications which have been described as modifications of proteins in a biological system.

Examples of such modifications include, but are not limited to, glycosylation, phosphorylation, prenylation, myristylation and farnesylation.

Furthermore, the compounds according to the invention can be used for the preparation of a medicament for the modulation of &ggr;-secretase activity.

The invention further relates to the use of said compounds for the preparation of a medicament for the modulation of &ggr;-secretase activity.

The activity of the &ggr;-secretase can be modulated in different ways, i.e. resulting in different profiles of the various A&bgr;-peptides.

Uses of a compound for the modulation of &ggr;-secretase activity resulting in a decrease in the relative amount of A&bgr;42-peptides produced are preferred.

Respective dosages, routes of administration, formulations etc are disclosed further below.

The invention further relates to the use of the compounds according to the invention for the treatment of a disease associated with an elevated level of A&bgr;42-production. The disease with elevated levels of Abeta peptide production and deposition in the brain is typically Alzheimer's disease (AD), cerebral amyloid angiopathy, multi-infarct dementia, dementia pugilistica or Down syndrome, preferably AD.

As used herein, the term "treatment" is intended to refer to all processes, wherein there may be a slowing, interrupting, arresting, or stopping of the progression of a disease, but does not necessarily indicate a total elimination of all symptoms.

As used herein, the term "elevated level of A&bgr;42-production" refers to a condition in which the rate of production of A&bgr;42-peptide is increased due to an overall increase in the processing of APP or, preferably, it refers to a condition in which the production of the A&bgr;42 peptide is increased due to a modification of the APP-processing profile in comparison to the wild-type APP and non-pathological situation.

As outlined above, such an elevated A&bgr;42-level is a hallmark of patients developing or suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

One advantage of the compounds or a part of the compounds of the present invention may lie in their enhanced CNS-penetration.

Furthermore the invention relates to a pharmaceutical composition comprising a compound according to the invention in a mixture with an inert carrier.

In a preferred embodiment, the invention relates to a pharmaceutical composition comprising a compound according to the invention in a mixture with an inert carrier, where said inert carrier is a pharmaceutical carrier.

The term "carrier" refers to a diluent, adjuvant, excipient, or vehicle with which the compound is administered. Such pharmaceutical carriers can be sterile liquids, such as water and oils, including those of petroleum, animal, vegetable or synthetic origin, including but not limited to peanut oil, soybean oil, mineral oil, sesame oil and the like. Water is a preferred carrier when the pharmaceutical composition is administered orally. Saline and aqueous dextrose are preferred carriers when the pharmaceutical composition is administered intravenously. Saline solutions and aqueous dextrose and glycerol solutions are preferably employed as liquid carriers for injectable solutions. Suitable pharmaceutical excipients include starch, glucose, lactose, sucrose, gelatin, malt, rice, flour, chalk, silica gel, sodium stearate, glycerol monostearate, talc, sodium chloride, dried skim milk, glycerol, propylene, glycol, water, ethanol and the like. The composition, if desired, can also contain minor amounts of wetting or emulsifying agents, or pH buffering agents. These compositions can take the form of solutions, suspensions, emulsions, tablets, pills, capsules, powders, sustained-release formulations and the like. The composition can be formulated as a suppository, with traditional binders and carriers such as triglycerides. Oral formulation can include standard carriers such as pharmaceutical grades of mannitol, lactose, starch, magnesium stearate, sodium saccharine, cellulose, magnesium carbonate, etc. Examples of suitable pharmaceutical carriers are described in "Remington's Pharmaceutical Sciences" by E.W. Martin. Such compositions will contain a therapeutically effective amount of the compound, preferably in purified form, together with a suitable amount of carrier so as to provide the form for proper administration to the patient. The formulation should suit the mode of administration.

Furthermore, the invention relates to methods for the preparation of a compound according to the invention.

In one embodiment for the preparation of a compound according to the present invention, a dibromofluorobenzene can be treated with a benzyl alcohol in the presence of an alkali metal hydride, typically sodium hydride, in a suitable aprotic solvent such as tetrahydrofuran. The product can be treated with a suitable malonic acid derivative, such as malonic acid tert-butyl ester ethyl ester in the presence of an alkali metal hydride, typically sodium hydride and a metal halide, typically a copper halide, preferably copper bromide. Further treatment in an acidic solvent such as acetic acid at elevated temperature provides a benzyloxy-bromophenylacetic acid ester. This can be coupled to a boronic acid under the variety of conditions known to those skilled in the art for such Suzuki coupling, typically using solvents such as 1,2-dimethoxyethane and water, an alkali metal carbonate such as potassium carbonate, and a palladium compound such as tetrakis(triphenylphosphine)palladium (0).

If required the compound can be alkylated by treatment in a suitable aprotic solvent such as tetrahydrofuran with a suitable base such as a metal dialkylamide, typically LDA, and the appropriate halide at a suitable temperature, typically -78°C

Removal of the benzyl protecting group can be achieved under the variety of conditions known to those skilled in the art for such deprotections, typically using a palladium catalyst such as 10% palladium on charcoal in a suitable solvent, such as ethanol, and under an atmosphere of hydrogen.

The phenol can be converted to a biphenyl ether by a variety of methods known to those skilled in the art eg DA Evans et al Tetrahedron Lett. (1998), 39, 2937 , Hosseinzadeh R et al Synlett (2005), 7, 1101 . Typically the phenol is treated with a tertiary amine, such as triethylamine, a metal acetate, such as copper acetate, an aryl boronic acid and a suitable solvent such as dichloromethane in the presence of an agent such as 4A molecular sieves.

Conversion of the ester to the acid can be done using a base such as an alkali metal hydroxide, typically potassium hydroxide in the presence of water and other suitable solvents such as methanol.

In another embodiment, compounds where A is S can be prepared by the treatment of a dibromofluorobenzene with an aryl thiol in the presence of a suitable base such as potassium carbonate, in a suitable aprotic solvent such as N,N,dimethylformamide. The product can be treated with a suitable malonic acid derivative, such as malonic acid tert-butyl ester ethyl ester in the presence of an alkali metal hydride, typically sodium hydride and a metal halide, typically a copper halide, preferably copper bromide. Further treatment in an acidic solvent such as acetic acid at elevated temperature provides an arylthio-bromophenylacetic acid ester. This can be coupled to a boronic acid under the variety of conditions known to those skilled in the art for such Suzuki coupling, typically using solvents such as 1,2-dimethoxyethane and water, an alkali metal carbonate such as potassium carbonate, and a palladium compound such as tetrakis(triphenylphosphine)palladium (0).

If required the compound can be alkylated by treatment in a suitable aprotic solvent such as tetrahydrofuran with a suitable base such as a metal dialkylamide, typically LDA, and the appropriate halide at a suitable temperature, typically -78°C

Conversion of the ester to the acid can be done using a base such as an alkali metal hydroxide, typically potassium hydroxide in the presence of water and other suitable solvents such as methanol.

In another embodiment for the preparation of a compound according to the present invention where A is NH, a dibromofluorobenzene can be treated with a benzyl alcohol in the presence of an alkali metal hydride, typically sodium hydride, in a suitable aprotic solvent such as tetrahydrofuran. The product can be treated with a suitable malonic acid derivative, such as malonic acid tert-butyl ester ethyl ester in the presence of an alkali metal hydride, typically sodium hydride and a metal halide, typically a copper halide, preferably copper bromide. Further treatment in an acidic solvent such as acetic acid at elevated temperature provides a benzyloxy-bromophenylacetic acid ester. This can be coupled to an aniline under the variety of conditions known to those skilled in the art for such Hartwig-Buchwald coupling, typically such as described by Hartwig JF in Modern Arene Chemistry, (2002) pp107-168 .

Removal of the benzyl ether protecting group can be achieved under the variety of conditions known to those skilled in the art for such deprotections, typically using a palladium catalyst such as 10% palladium on charcoal in a suitable solvent, such as ethanol, and under an atmosphere of hydrogen.

The resultant hydroxycompound can be converted to a triflate using eg trifluoromethanesulphonic anhydride, an organic base such as pyridine and in a suitable solvent such as dichloromethane. This triflate can then be coupled to a boronic acid under the variety of conditions known to those skilled in the art for such Suzuki coupling, typically using solvents such as 1,2-dimethoxyethane and water, an alkali metal carbonate such as potassium carbonate, and a palladium compound such as bis(tri-tert-butylphosphine)palladium (0).

If required the product can be alkylated by treatment in a suitable aprotic solvent such as tetrahydrofuran with a suitable base such as a metal alkylamide, typically LDA, and the appropriate halide at a suitable temperature, typically -78°C

Conversion of the ester to the acid can be done using a base such as an alkali metal hydroxide, typically sodium hydroxide in the presence of water and other suitable solvents such as ethanol.

When compounds of the invention are produced as racemates, these can be separated into their enantiomers by methods known to those skilled in the art, typically by using a chiral HPLC column.

Furthermore, the invention relates to a method for the preparation of a medicament comprising the steps of:

  1. a) preparing a compound according to the invention
  2. b) formulation of a medicament containing said compound.

The compounds according to the invention and their pharmaceutically acceptable salts, optionally in combination with other pharmaceutically active compounds are suitable to treat or prevent Alzheimer's disease or the symptons thereof. Such additional compounds include cognition-enhancing drugs such as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (e.g. Donepezil, Tacrine, Galantamine, Rivastigmin), NMDA antagonists (e.g. Memantine) PDE4 inhibitors (e.g. Ariflo) or any other drug known to a person skilled in the art suitable to treat or prevent Alzheimer's disease. Such compounds also include cholesterol-lowering drugs such as statins (e.g. simvastatin). These compounds can be administered to animals, preferably to mammals, and in particular humans, as pharmaceuticals by themselves, in mixtures with one anther or in the form of pharmaceutical preparations.

Various delivery systems are known and can be used to administer a compound of the invention for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease or for the modulation of the &ggr;-secretase activity, e.g. encapsulation in liposomes, microparticles, and microcapsules:

  • If not delivered directly to the central nervous system, preferably the brain, it is advantageous to select and/or modify methods of administration in such a way as to allow the pharmaceutical compound to cross the blood-brain barrier.

Methods of introduction include, but are not limited to, intradermal, intramuscular, intraperitoneal, intravenous, subcutaneous, intranasal, epidural, and oral routes.

The compounds may be administered by any convenient route, for example by infusion, by bolus injection, by absorption through epithelial or mucocutaneous linings and may be administered together with other biologically active agents.

Administration can be systemic or local. In addition, it may be desirable to introduce the pharmaceutical compositions of the invention into the central nervous system by any suitable route, including intraventricular and intrathecal injection; intraventricular injection may be facilitated by an intraventricular catheter, for example, attached to a reservoir, such as an Ommaya reservoir. Pulmonary administration can also be employed, e.g. by use of an inhaler or nebulizer, and formulation with an aerosolizing agent.

In another embodiment, the compound can be delivered in a vesicle, in particular a liposome ( Langer (1990) Science 249, 1527 .

In yet another embodiment, the compound can be delivered via a controlled release system. In one embodiment, a pump may be used ( Sefton (1987) CRC Crit. Ref Biomed. Eng. 14, 201 ; Buchwald et al. (1980) Surgery 88, 507 ; Saudek et al. (1989) N. Engl. J. Med. 321, 574 ). In another embodiment, polymeric materials can be used ( Ranger and Peppas (1983) Macromol. Sci. Rev. Macromol. Chem. 23, 61 ; Levy et al. (1985) Science 228, 190 ; During et al. (1989) Ann. Neurol. 25, 351 ; Howard et al. (1989) J. Neurosurg. 71, 858 ). In yet another embodiment, a controlled release system can be placed in proximity of the therapeutic target, i.e., the brain, thus requiring only a fraction of the systemic dose (e.g. Goodson, 1984, In: Medical Applications of Controlled Release, supra, Vol. 2, 115 ). Other controlled release systems are discussed in the review by Langer (1990, Science 249, 1527 ).

In order to select an appropriate way of administration, the person skilled in the art will also consider routes of administration which have been selected for other known Anti-Alzheimer-drugs.

For example, Aricept/Donepezil and Cognex/Tacrine (all acetylcholinesterase-inhibitors) are being taken orally, Axura/Memantine (an NMDA-receptor antagonist) has been launched both as tablets/liquid and as an i.v.-solution.

Furthermore, the skilled person in the art will take into account the available data with respect to routes of administration of members of the NSAID-family in clinical trials and other studies investigating their effect on Alzheimer's disease.

In order to select the appropriate dosage, the person skilled in the art will choose a dosage which has been shown to be not toxic in preclinical and/or clinical studies and which can be in accordance with the values given beforehand, or which may deviate from these.

The precise dose to be employed in the formulation will also depend on the route of administration, and the seriousness of the disease or disorder, and should be decided according to the judgment of the practitioner and each patient's circumstances. However, suitable dosage ranges for intravenous administration are generally about 20-500 micrograms of active compound per kilogram body weight. Suitable dosage ranges for intranasal administration are generally about 0.01 mg/kg body weight to 1 mg/kg body weight. Effective doses may be extrapolated from dose-response curves derived from in vitro or animal model test systems.

An exemplary animal model is the transgenic mouse strain "Tg2576" containing an APP695-form with the double mutation KM670/671NL. For reference see e.g. patent US5877399 and Hsiao et al. (1996) Science 274, 99 and also Kawarabayahsi T (2001) J. Neurosci. 21, 372 ; Frautschy et al. (1998) Am. J. Pathol. 152, 307 ; Irizarry et al. (1997) J. Neuropathol. Exp. Neurol. 56, 965 ; Lehman et al. (2003) Neurobiol. Aging 24, 645 .

Substantial data from several studies are available to the skilled person in the art which are instructive to the skilled person to select the appropriate dosage for the chosen therapeutic regimen.

Numerous studies have been published in which the effects of molecules on the &ggr;-secretase activity are described. Exemplary studies are Lim et al. (2001) Neurobiol. Aging 22, 983 ; Lim et al. (2000) J Neurosci. 20, 5709 ; Weggen et al. (2001) Nature 414, 212 ; Eriksen et al. (2003) J Clin Invest. 112, 440 ; Yan et al. (2003) J Neurosci. 23, 7504 ;

General

All reactions were carried out under inert atmosphere unless otherwise stated. NMR spectra were obtained on a Bruker dpx400. LCMS was carried out on an Agilent 1100 using a ZORBAX® SB-C18, 4.6 x 75 mm, 3.5 micron column for method A. Column flow was 1m1/min and solvents used were water and acetonitrile (0.1%TFA) with an injection volume of 10u1. Wavelengths were 254 and 210nm. Methods are described below: Method Flow Rate Solvent A 1ml/min 0-1.5-95%MeCN 1.5-6min 95% 4.5-5 min 95%-5%MeCN

Abbreviations

Ac Acetyl d Doublet DCM Dichloromethane DME 1,2-dimethoxyethane DMF N,N-dimethylformamide DMSO Dimethyl sulfoxide e.e. enantiomeric excess Eq Equivalents Et Ethyl EtOAc ethyl acetate g Gram h Hour HPLC high pressure liquid chromatography K2CO3 Potassium carbonate 1 Litre LCMS liquid chromatography - mass spectrometry LDA lithium diisopropylamide M Molar m Multiplet Me Methyl min Minute mol Mole NMR nuclear magnetic resonance q Quartet RT Retention time s Singlet sat Saturated t Triplet TFA Trifluoroacetic acid THF Tetrahydrofuran

EXAMPLES: Example 1: Preparation of 2-(5-(4-fluorophenoxy)-4'-trifluoromethyl-biphenyl-3-yl)-pentanoic acid (I) Preparation of 1-Benzyloxy-3,5-dibromobenzene

Benzylalcohol (9.7 mLl, 94 mmol) was added dropwise to a suspension of NaH (4.0 g of a 60 % suspension in mineral oil, 100mmol) in THF (150 mL) at room temperature and the mixture was stirred at room temperature for 1 hour before 1,3-dibromo-5-fluorobenzene (15.9 g, 62.5 mmol) was added. The reaction was stirred at room temperature for 12 hours. Water was added carefully and the THF was evaporated under reduced pressure. The residue was extracted with iso-hexane (x3) and the combined organic extracts were washed with NaOH solution (1 M aq.), water, brine, dried (MgS04), filtered and concentrated under reduced pressure. The residue was purified by flash column chromatography (EtOAc : petroleum ether) to give 1-benzyloxy-3,5-dibromobenzene (14.7 g, 65 mmol) as a colourless liquid in 69 % yield. 1H NMR (CDC13) &dgr; 7.45-7.33 (m, 5H), 7.30-7.28 (m, 1H), 7.10-7.08 (m, 2H), 5.02 (s, 2H).

Preparation of(3-Benzvloxy-5-bromo-phenyl)-acetic acid ethyl ester

Malonic acid tert-butyl ester ethyl ester (10.2 mL, 53.8 mmol) was added dropwise to a suspension of NaH (2.2 g of a 60 % suspension in mineral oil, 53.8 mmol) in dioxane (200 mL) at room temperature and the mixture was stirred at this temperature for 1 hour before CuBr (7.7g, 53.8 mmol) and 1-benzyloxy-3,5-dibromobenzene (9.2g, 26.9 mmol) were added. The reaction mixture was heated to reflux for 5h. HCl solution (1M aq, 100 mL) was carefully added and the mixture was extracted with iso-hexane (x3). The combined organic extracts were washed with HCl solution (1 M aq), water, brine, dried (MgSO4), filtered and concentrated under reduced pressure. The residue was purified by flash column chromatography (EtOAc : petroleum ether) to give, in order of elution, recovered 1-benzyloxy-3,5-dibromobenzene (3.2g, 9.4 mmol) in 35 % yield and 2-(3-benzyloxy-5-bromo-phenyl)-malonic acid tert-butyl ester ethyl ester (7.2 g, contains 1.4 equivalent malonic acid tert-butyl ester ethyl ester, 10 mmol) as a colourless liquid in 37 % yield. 2-(3-Benzyloxy-5-bromophenyl)malonic acid tert-butyl ester ethyl ester (7.2g, contains 1.4 equivalent malonic acid tert-butyl ester ethyl ester, 10mmol) was dissolved in glacial AcOH (50 mLl) and heated to reflux for 12 hours. The AcOH was removed under reduced pressure. The residue was poured into Na2CO3 solution (sat. aq.) and the mixture was extracted with EtOAc (x3). The combined organic extracts were washed with water, brine, dried (MgSO4), filtered and concentrated under reduced pressure to give (3-benzyloxy-5-bromo-phenyl-)acetic acid ethyl ester (6.8 g, 9.7 mmol) as a yellow liquid in 97 % yield. 1H NMR (CDCl3) &dgr; 7.44-7.30 (m, 5H), 7.07-7.03 (m, 2H), 6.87-6.84 (m, 1H), 5.03 (s, 2H), 4.15 (q, 2H), 3.54 (s, 2H), 1.26 (t, 3H).

Preparation of (5-Benzyloxy-4'-trifluoromethyl-biphenyl-3-yl)-acetic acid ethyl ester

(3-Benzyloxy-5-bromo-phenyl)-acetic acid ethyl ester (2.50 g, 7.2 mmol) was added to a solution of 4-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl boronic acid (1.5 g, 8.0 mmol) and K2CO3 (14.4 mmol, 2 M aq. ) in DME (25 mL). Nitrogen was bubbled through the reaction mixture for 10 minutes before addition oftetrakis(triphenylphosphine)palladium(0) (10 % wt) and the resultant mixture was heated to 80 °C for 4 hours under inert atmosphere. The reaction mixture was diluted with water and extracted with EtOAc (x3). The combined organic extracts were washed with sat. Na2C03, brine, dried (MgSO4), filtered and concentrated under reduced pressure. The residue was purified by flash column chromatography (EtOAc : petroleum ether) to give (5-benzyloxy-4'trifluoromethyl-biphenyl-3-yl)-acetic acid ethyl ester (2.2g) as a colourless gum in 74% yield. 1H NMR (CDCl3) &dgr; 7.59-7.54 (m, 2H), 7.48-7.30 (m, 8H), 7.13-7.11 (m, 2H), 6.94-6.91 (m, 1H), 5.12 (s, 2H), 4.16 (q, 2H), 3.64 (s, 2H), 1.27 (t, 3H).

Preparation of 2-(5-Benzyloxy-4'-trifluoromethyl-biphenyl-3-yl)-pentanoic acid ethyl ester

A solution of LDA (4.5 mL of 1.8 M in THF, 8 mmol) was added dropwise to a stirred solution of (5-Benzyloxy-4'-trifluoromethyl-biphenyl-3-yl)-acetic acid ethyl ester (3 g, 7.3 mmol) in THF (50 mL) at -78 °C. The reaction mixture was stirred for 30 minutes at -78 °C before iodopropane (0.85 mL, 8.7 mmol) was added dropwise. The reaction mixture was allowed to warm to room temperature overnight. A saturated aqueous solution of ammonium chloride (10 mL) was carefully added and the residue was partitionned between EtOAc and water. The aqueous layers were extracted with EtOAc (x3). The combined organic layers were washed with water, brine, dried (MgSO4), filtered and concentrated under reduced pressure. The residue was purified by flash column chromatography (EtOAc : petroleum ether) to give 2-(5-Benzyloxy-4'-trifluoromethyl-biphenyl-3-yl)-pentanoic acid ethyl ester (2.2 g) as an oil in 66 % yield.

Preparation of 2-(5-(4-fluorophenoxy)-4'-trifluoromethyl-biphenyl-3-yl)-pentanoic acid

2-(5-Benzyloxy-4'-trifluoromethyl-biphenyl-3-yl)-pentanoic acid ethyl ester (1.1g, 2.4mmol) was dissolved in EtOH (10 mL) and stirred with 10% Pd/C (116 mg) under an atmosphere of hydrogen. After 19h, the mixture was filtered through Celite and concentrated in vacuo to afford 2-(5-hydroxy-4'-trifluoromethyl-biphenyl-3-yl)-pentanoic acid ethyl ester (0.85 g) as a colourless oil.

Triethylamine (100 µL, 0.72 mmol) was added to a stirred mixture of 2-(5-hydroxy-4'-trifluoromethyl-biphenyl-3-yl)-pentanoic acid ethyl ester (90 mg, 0.25 mmol), Cu(OAc)2 (68 mg, 0.38 mmol), 4-fluorophenylboronic acid (70 mg, 0.57 mmol), 4Å molecular sieves (25 mg, powdered) and DCM (2 mL) at room temperature open to the air. After 24 h, the reaction mixture was loaded onto silica and purified (0-10% ethyl acetate in petrol) to give 2-(5-(4-fluorophenoxy)-4'-trifluoromethyl-biphenyl-3-yl)-pentanoic acid ethyl ester (67 mg) as a colourless oil.

The ester was dissolved in THF (1.2 mL) and treated with a 1M solution of KOH in 6:1 MeOH/water (0.3 mL, 2 eq). After 65 h, the mixture was diluted with water (5 mL) then acidified with 1M HCl(aq). The mixture was extracted with ethyl acetate (2 x 5 mL), then the combined organic layer was washed with brine; dried (MgSO4) and concentrated in vacuo to afford 2-(5-(4-fluorophenoxy)-4'-trifluoromethyl-biphenyl-3-yl)-pentanoic acid (57 mg, 90%) as a pale yellow gum. LCMS Method A - 3.65 min.

Example 2 2-(5-(phenoxy)-4'-trifluoromethyl-biphenyl-3-yl)-pentanoic acid

In an analogous fashion to Example 1 using phenylboronic acid in place of 4-fluorophenylboronic acid was prepared 2-(5-(phenoxy)-4'-trifluoromethyl-biphenyl-3-yl)-pentanoic acid LCMS Method A- 3.69 min.

Example 3: Determination of the effect of the compounds according to the invention on cyclooxygenase-1 and cyclooxygenase -2 (Cox-1, Cox-2)

Inhibition of Cox-1 and Cox-2 was determined using the Colorimetric Cox inhibitor screening assay provided by Cayman Chemical Company, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. (Cat. No. 760111) according to manufacturer's instructions.

Compounds of the invention will show <50% inhibition at 100uM.

Example 4: Screening of the compounds of the invention for &ggr;-secretase-modulating activity

Screening was carried out using SKN neuroblastoma cells carrying the APP 695 - wild type, grown in DMEM/NUT-mix F12 (HAM) provided by Gibco (cat no. 31330-38) containing 5% Serum/Fe supplemented with 1% non-essential amino acids.

Cells were grown to near confluency.

The screening was performed using the assay as described in Citron et al (1997) Nature Medicine 3: 67 .

IC50-values of selected compounds of the invention on the &ggr;-secretase activity.

Activity range: 10-100uM

2-(5-(4-fluorophenoxy)-4'-trifluoromethyl-biphenyl-3-yl)-pentanoic acid;

2-(5-(phenoxy)-4'-trifluoromethyl-biphenyl-3-yl)-pentanoic acid

Example 5: Demonstration of in vivo efficacy

A&bgr;42 lowering agents of the invention can be used to treat AD in mammals such as humans or alternatively in a validated animal model such as the mouse, rat, or guinea pig. The mammal may not be diagnosed with AD, or may not have a genetic predisposition for AD, but may be transgenic such that it overproduces and eventually deposits A&bgr; in a manner similar to that seen in humans afflicted with AD..

A&bgr;42 lowering agents can be administered in any standard form using any standard method. For example, but not limited to, A&bgr;42 lowering agents can be in the form of liquid, tablets or capsules that are taken orally or by injection. A&bgr;42 lowering agents can be administered at any dose that is sufficient to significantly reduce levels of A&bgr;42 in the blood, blood plasma, serum, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), or brain.

To determine whether acute administration of an A&bgr;42 lowering agent would reduce A&bgr;42 levels in vivo, two to three month old Tg2576 mice expressing APP695 containing the "Swedish" variant can be used or alternatively a transgenic mouse model developed by Dr. Fred Van Leuven (K.U.Leuven, Belgium) and co-workers, with neuron-specific expression of a clinical mutant of the human amyloid precursor protein [V717I] ( Moechars et al., 1999 J. Biol. Chem. 274, 6483 ). The single transgenic mouse displays spontaneous, progressive accumulation of &bgr;-amyloid (A&bgr;) in the brain, eventually resulting in amyloid plaques within subiculum, hippocampus and cortex. Animals of this age have high levels of A&bgr; in the brain but no detectable A&bgr; deposition. Mice treated with the A&bgr;42 lowering agent will be examined and compared to those untreated or treated with vehicle and brain levels of soluble A&bgr;42 and total A&bgr; would be quantitated by standard techniques, for example, using ELISA. Treatment periods may vary from hours to days and will be adjusted based on the results of the A&bgr;42 lowering once a time course of onset of effect can be established.

A typical protocol for measuring A&bgr;42 lowering in vivo is shown but it is only one of many variations that could be used to optimize the levels of detectable A&bgr;. For example, aliquots of compounds can be dissolved in DMSO (volume equal to 1/10th of the final formulation volume), vortexed and further diluted (1:10) with a 10 % (w/v) hydroxypropyl &bgr; cyclodextrin (HBC, Aldrich, Ref N° 33,260-7) solution in PBS, where after they are sonicated for 20 seconds.

A&bgr;42 lowering agents may be administered as a single oral dose given three to four hours before sacrifice and analysis or alternatively could be given over a course of days and the animals sacrificed three to four hours after the final dose is given.

Blood is collected at sacrifice. The blood collection is performed via a heart puncture during anesthesia with a mixture of Ketalar (Ketamin), Rompun (Xylazin 2%) and Atropin (2:1:1) and collected in EDTA treated collection tubes. Blood is centrifuged at 4000 g for 5 minutes at 4°C and the plasma recovered for analysis.

The mice are anaesthetized with a mixture of Ketalar (Ketamin), Rompun (Xylazin 2%) and Atropin (2:1:1) and flushed trans-cardially with physiological serum at 4°C.

The brain is removed from the cranium and hindbrain and forebrain are separated with a cut in the coronal/frontal plane. The cerebellum is removed. The forebrain is divided evenly into left and right hemisphere by using a midline sagital cut.

One hemisphere is immediately immersed in liquid nitrogen and stored at -70°C until homogenization for biochemical assays.

Brains are homogenized using a Potter, a glass tube (detergent free, 2 cm3) and a mechanical homogenizer (650 rpm). A volume of 6,5 x S brain weight of freshly prepared 20 mM Tris/HCl buffer (pH 8,5) with Proteinase Inhibitors (1 tablet per 50 ml Tris/HCl buffer, CompleteTM, Roche, Mannheim, Germany) is used as homogenization buffer.

Samples are transferred from -70°C into a sample holder with liquid nitrogen and each individual sample is pre-warmed by incubation on the bench for a few seconds prior to homogenization. The homogenates are collected in Beckman centrifuge tubes TLX and collected on ice prior to centrifugation. Between two samples, the Potter and the glass tube are rinsed carefully with distilled water without detergents and dried with absorption paper.

Samples are centrifuged in a pre-cooled ultracentrifuge (Beckman, Mannheim, Germany) for 1 hour and 20 minutes at 48000 rpm (135.000 x g) at 4°C. The supernatant (soluble fraction containing secreted APP and amyloid peptides) is separated from the pellet (membrane fraction containing membrane-bound APP-fragments and plaque-associated amyloid peptides in case of aged mice).

Small reversed phase columns (C18-Sep-Pack Vac 3cc cartridges, Waters, Massachusetts, MA) are mounted on a vacuum system and washed with 80% acetonitrile in 0, 1 % Trifluoroacetic acid (A-TFA) followed with 0, 1 % TFA twice. Then the samples are applied and the columns are washed successively with 5% and 25% A-TFA. Amyloid peptides are eluted with 75% A-TFA and the eluates are collected in 2 ml tubes on ice. Eluates are freeze-dried in a speedvac concentrator (Savant, Farmingdale, NY) overnight and resolved in 240 µl of the sample diluent furnished with the ELISA kits.

To quantify the amount of human A&bgr;-42 in the soluble fraction of the brain homogenates, commercially available Enzyme-Linked-Immunosorbent-Assay (ELISA) kits are used (h Amyloid &bgr;42 ELISA high sensitive, The Genetics Company, Zurich, Switzerland). The ELISA is performed according to the manufacturer's protocol. Briefly, the standard (a dilution of synthetic A&bgr;1-42) and samples are prepared in a 96-well polypropylene plate without protein binding capacity (Greiner bio-one, Frickenhausen, Germany). The standard dilutions with final concentrations of 1000, 500, 250, 125, 62.5, 31.3 and 15.6 pg/ml and the samples are prepared in the sample diluent, furnished with the ELISA kit, to a final volume of 60 µl. Samples, standards and blancs (50 µl) are added to the anti-A&bgr;-coated polystyrol plate (capture antibody selectively recognizes the C-terminal end of the antigen) in addition with a selective anti-A&bgr;-antibody conjugate (biotinylated detection antibody) and incubated overnight at 4°C in order to allow formation of the antibody-Amyloid-antibody-complex. The following day, a Streptavidine-Peroxidase-Conjugate is added, followed 30 minutes later by an addition of TMB/peroxide mixture, resulting in the conversion of the substrate into a colored product. This reaction is stopped by the addition of sulfuric acid (1M) and the color intensity is measured by means of photometry with an ELISA-reader with a 450 nm filter. Quantification of the Abeta content of the samples is obtained by comparing absorbance to a standard curve made with synthetic A&bgr;1-42.

In such a model at least 20% A&bgr;42 lowering compared to untreated animals would be advantageous.


Anspruch[en]
A compound having the general formula (I) wherein

A is O, NH, S;

X is a bond or a group -CR5R6 wherein R5 and R6 are, independently of each other, selected from the group consisting ofH; alkyl selected from the group CH3, C2H5, i-C3H7, n-C3H7, i-C4H9, n-C4H9, sec-C4H9, tert-C4H9; alkenyl selected from C2H3, i-C3H5, n-C3H5, n-C4H7, i-C4H7, sec-C4H7; wherein in the all named alkyl and alkenyl groups one or more H atom is optionally substituted with one or more substituents independently selected from the group consisting of F, Cl, Br, I and CF3; or R5 and R6 being part of a ring, either saturated or unsaturated, substituted or unsubstituted, having 3 to 6 C-atoms, and which may contain in the ring one or more heteroatoms from the group N, S or O, and which heteroatom may be identical or different if more than one heteroatom is present;

R1, R2, R3 and R4 are independently selected from the group consisting of H; F; Cl; Br; I; CN; OH; C(O)N(R7R8); S(O)2R7; SO2N(R7R8); S(O)N(R7R8); N(R7)S(O)2R8; N(R8)S(O)R8; S(O)2R7; N(R7)S(O)2N(R8R8a); SR7; N(R7R8); N(R7)C(O)R8; N(R7)C(O)N(R8R8a); N(R7)C(O)OR8; OC(O)N(R7R8); C(O)R7; substituted and unsubstituted C1-C4-alkyl and substituted and unsubstituted C1-C4-alkoxy, and wherein the substituents of both groups C1-C4-alkyl and C1-C4-alkoxy are selected from F, Cl, Br, I, CF3;

R7, R8, R8a are independently selected from the group consisting of H; C1-C4-alkyl; heterocyclyl; and C3-7 cycloalkyl, wherein C1-C4-alkyl; heterocyclyl; and C3-7 cycloalkyl are optionally substituted with one or more substituents independently selected from the group consisting of F, Cl, Br, I and CF3;

Y is a carboxy group -C(O)OH or a substututed or unsubstituted tetrazole group;

and/or a salt or ester thereof
The compound according to claim 1, wherein A; X; Y; R1 and R2; and R3, R4, independently of each other have the following meanings: AisO; X is group -CR5R6 wherein R5 and R6 are, independently of each other, selected from the group consisting of H; alkyl selected from the group CH3, C2H5, i-C3H7, n-C3H7, i-C4H9, n-C4H9, sec-C4H9, tert-C4H9; wherein in the all named alkyl groups one or more H atom is optionally substituted with one or more substituents independently selected from the group consisting of F, Cl, Br and I; and/or R1, R2, R3 and R4 are independently selected from the group consisting of H; OH; C1-C4-alkyl or C1-C4-alkoxy, substituted partly or fully by F, Cl, Br, I; and/or Y is a carboxy group and/or a salt or ester thereof The compound according to claim 1 or 2, wherein A; X; Y; R1 and R2; and R3, R4, R5 and R6 independently of each other have the following meanings: AisO; X is a group -CR5R6 with R5 and R6 being H; or R5 being H and R6 being CH3, C2H5, C3H7 or C4H9 or isomers thereof; or R5 and R6 being CH3 or R5, R6 jointly form together with the carbon atom to which they are attached a cyclopropyl ring; and/or R1, R2, R3 and R4 are independently selected from the group consisting of H; OH; C1-C4-alkyl or C1-C4-alkoxy, substituted partly or fully by F, Cl, Br, I; and/or and/or Y is a carboxy group and/or a salt or ester thereof The compound according to any of claims 1 to 3, wherein A; X; R1 and R2; and R3, R4, R5 and R6 independently of each other have the following meanings: A is O; X is a X is a group -CR5R6 with R5 and R6 being H; or R5 being H and R6 being CH3, C2H5, C3H7 or C4H9 or isomers thereof and/or Y is a carboxy group R1, R2, R3 and R4 are independently selected from the group consisting ofH, OH, CH3, OCH3, CF3, F, and Cl; and/or and/or a salt or ester thereof. A compound according to claim 1 selected from the group consisting of

2-(5-(4-fluorophenoxy)-4'-trifluoromethyl-biphenyl-3-yl)-pentanoic acid (I)

2-(5-(phenoxy)-4'-trifluoromethyl-biphenyl-3-yl)-pentanoic acid (II)

and/or a salt or ester thereof.
A compound according to any of claims 1 to 5 for use as a medicament. Use of a compound according to any of claims 1 to 5 for the preparation of a medicament for the modulation of &ggr;-secretase. Use of a compound according to any of claims 1 to 5 for the preparation of a medicament for the treatment of a disease associated with an elevated level of A&bgr;42-production. Use of a compound according to any of claims 1 to 5 for the preparation of a medicament for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. A pharmaceutical composition comprising a compound according to any of claims 1 to 5 in admixture with an inert carrier. A process for the preparation of a compound according to any of claims 1 to 5 with A being O, comprising the following steps: - treating a dihalidefluorobenzene compound, preferably dibromofluorobenzene, with a benzyl alcohol in the presence of an alkali metal hydride; - treating the product with a suitable malonic ester derivative in the presence of an alkali metal hydride and a metal halide; - treatment in an acidic solvent; - coupling to a boronic acid derivative; - removal of the benzyl ether protecting group; - converting the resulting hydroxycompound to a triflate and coupling to a boronic acid; - optionally alkylating the resulting compound; - removal of the benzyl protecting group; - converting the phenol to a biphenyl ether; - conversion of the ester to the acid. A process for the preparation of a compound according to any of claims 1 to 5 with A being S, comprising the steps as laid out in claim 11, with the exception that the alkali metal hydride is replaced by a suitable base and the benzyl alcohol is replaced by an aryl thiol. A process for the preparation of a compound according to any of claims 1 to 5 with A being NH, comprising the following steps: - treating a dihalidefluorobenzene compound, preferably dibromofluorobenzene, with a benzyl alcohol in the presence of an alkali metal hydride; - treating the product with a suitable malonic ester derivative in the presence of an alkali metal hydride and a metal halide; - treatment in an acidic solvent; - coupling to an aniline - removal of the benzyl ether protecting group; - converting the resulting hydroxycompound to a triflate and coupling to a boronic acid; - optionally alkylating the resulting product; - conversion of the ester to the acid. Method for the preparation of a medicament comprising the steps of: a) preparing a compound according to any of claims 1 to 5; and b) formulation of a medicament containing said compound. A method of treating a mammal for the modulation of &ggr;-secretase, which method comprises administering to said mammal a compound according to any of claims 1 to 5. A method of treating in a mammal a disease associated with an elevated level of A&bgr;42-production, which method comprises administering to said mammal a compound according to any of claims 1 to 5. A method of treating Alzheimer's disease in a mammal, which method comprises administering to said mammal a compound according to any of claims 1 to 5.






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G Physik
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