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The efficacy of positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of the metabotropic glutamate receptor 4 (mGlu4) in preclinical rodent models of Parkinson's disease has been established by a number of groups. Here, we report an advanced preclinically characterized mGlu4 PAM, N-(3-chloro-4-fluorophenyl)-1H-pyrazolo[4,3-b]pyridin-3-amine (VU0418506). We detail the discovery of VU0418506 starting from a common picolinamide core scaffold and evaluation of a number of amide bioisosteres leading to the novel pyrazolo[4,3-b]pyridine head group. VU0418506 has been characterized as a potent and selective mGlu4 PAM with suitable in vivo pharmacokinetic properties in three preclinical safety species.