Potent and biostable inhibitors of the main protease of SARS-CoV-2
Potent and biostable inhibitors of the main protease (Mpro) of SARS-CoV-2 were designed and synthesized based on an active hit compound 5h (2). Our strategy was based not only on the introduction of fluorine atoms into the inhibitor molecule for an increase of binding affinity for the pocket of Mpro and cell membrane permeability but also on the replacement of the digestible amide bond by a surrogate structure to increase the biostability of the compounds. Compound 3 is highly potent and blocks SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro without a viral breakthrough. The derivatives, which contain a thioamide surrogate in the P2-P1 amide bond of these compounds (2 and 3), showed remarkably preferable pharmacokinetics in mice compared with the corresponding parent compounds. These data show that compounds 3 and its biostable derivative 4 are potential drugs for treating COVID-19 and that replacement of the digestible amide bond by its thioamide surrogate structure is an effective method.
Department of Medicinal Chemistry,
Institute of Biomaterials and Bioengineering,
Tokyo Medical and Dental University(TMDU)
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