This letter describes a focused exercise to explore the role of the β-amino carboxamide moiety found in all of the first generation M PAMs and question if the NH group served solely to stabilize an intramolecular hydrogen bond (IMHB) and enforce planarity. To address this issue (and to potentially find a substitute for the β-amino carboxamide that engendered P-gp and contributed to solubility liabilities), we removed the NH, generating des-amino congeners and surveyed other functional groups in the β-position. These modifications led to weak M PAMs with poor DMPK properties. Cyclization of the β-amino carboxamide moiety by virtue of a pyrazole ring re-enforced the IMHB, led to potent (and patented) M PAMs, many as potent as the classical bicyclic β-amino carboxamide analogs, but with significant CYP1A2 inhibition. Overall, this exercise indicated that the β-amino carboxamide moiety most likely facilitates an IMHB, and is essential for M PAM activity within classical bicyclic M PAM scaffolds.
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