Based on a hypothesis that an intramolecular hydrogen bond was present in our lead series of picolinamide mGlu NAMs, we reasoned that an inactive nicotinamide series could be modified through introduction of a fused heterocyclic core to generate potent mGlu NAMs. In this Letter, we describe the synthesis and evaluation of compounds that demonstrate the viability of that approach. Selected analogs were profiled in a variety of in vitro assays, and two compounds were evaluated in rat pharmacokinetic studies and a mouse model of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Ancillary pharmacology screening revealed that members of this series exhibited moderate inhibition of the dopamine transporter (DAT), and SAR was developed that expanded the selectivity for mGlu versus DAT.
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