A series of biphenyl analogues of the new tuberculosis drug PA-824 was prepared, primarily by coupling the known (6S)-2-nitro-6,7-dihydro-5H-imidazo[2,1-b][1,3]oxazin-6-ol with iodobenzyl halides, followed by Suzuki coupling of these iodides with appropriate arylboronic acids or by assembly of the complete biaryl side chain prior to coupling with the above alcohol. Antitubercular activity was determined under both replicating (MABA) and nonreplicating (LORA) conditions. para-Linked biaryls were the most active, followed by meta-linked and then ortho-linked analogues. A more detailed study of a larger group of para-linked analogues showed a significant correlation between potency (MABA) and both lipophilicity (CLOGP) and the electron-withdrawing properties of terminal ring substituents (∑σ). Selected compounds were evaluated for their efficacy in a mouse model of acute Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. In vivo activity correlated well with the stability of compounds to microsomal metabolism. Three compounds bearing combinations of lipophilic, electron-withdrawing groups achieved >200-fold higher efficacies than the parent drug.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry (2010) 53 (1) 282-294 [DOI: 10.1021/jm901207n]