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Discovery of Clinical Candidate NT-0796, a Brain-Penetrant and Highly Potent NLRP3 Inflammasome Inhibitor for Neuroinflammatory Disorders

Harrison, D;Billinton, A;Bock, MG;Doedens, JR;Gabel, CA;Holloway, MK;Porter, RA;Reader, V;Scanlon, J;Schooley, K;Watt, AP;

The NLRP3 inflammasome is a component of the innate immune system involved in the production of proinflammatory cytokines. Neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, have been shown to have a component driven by NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Diseases such as these with large unmet medical needs have resulted in an interest in inhibiting the NLRP3 inflammasome as a potential pharmacological treatment, but to date, no marketed drugs specifically targeting NLRP3 have been approved. Furthermore, the requirement for CNS-penetrant molecules adds additional complexity to the search for NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitors suitable for clinical investigation of neuroinflammatory disorders. We designed a series of ester-substituted carbamate compounds as selective NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitors, leading to NT-0796, an isopropyl ester that undergoes intracellular conversion to NDT-19795, the carboxylic acid active species. NT-0796 was shown to be a potent and selective NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitor with demonstrated in vivo brain penetration.