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Title: Synthesis of partially saturated bicyclic heteroaromatics : sp3-enriched scaffolds for drug discovery
Author: Stewart, Hannah Lindsey
ISNI:       0000 0004 7653 8616
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2019
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Recent years have seen an expansion beyond the more druggable biological targets into novel areas of biological space. However, drug discovery campaigns against these challenging targets have been afflicted with low hit rates during screening campaigns and high levels of candidate attrition during clinical trials. Subsequent studies have looked to explore the underlying factors to these challenges and have identified the lack of scaffold diversity and poor physicochemical properties in screening libraries as the leading causes. In an attempt to address this issue drug discovery strategies such as fragment-based drug discovery and lead-oriented synthesis have been developed which control and direct the compound properties within screening libraries towards relevant areas of chemical space. In addition, strategies such as diversity oriented synthesis aim to synthesise structurally complex and diverse compounds, expanding screening collections into previously under-explored areas of chemical space. This thesis reports the development of a step-efficient, modular and highly adaptable synthetic route for the synthesis of partially saturated bicyclic heteroaromatic scffolds (Figure i). The designed route takes advantage of the large chiral pool provided by amino acids, with each scaffold synthesised in just 4-6 steps from these readily available enantiopure starting materials. The mild conditions allow for excellent functional group tolerance, thus enabling the incorporation of growth vectors for chemical elaboration from the outset, a strong advantage in the drug discovery process. Overall, 29 partially saturated bicyclic heteroaromatic compounds were synthesised based around 7 different scaffolds. These demonstrated a number of possible areas for diversifation both on and around the scaffold, including variation of functional groups (Figure i, red), double (cis-diastereoisomers) and single (R2- and R3-positions) substitution patterns, variation of the 5-membered heterocycle (Figure i, green) and increased size of the saturated ring (Figure i, blue). Furthermore, careful selection of the substituents, heterocycle and size of the saturated ring would enable the synthesis of screening libraries within the constraints of fragment-like, lead-like or drug-like structures. The final library has been incorporated into the Diamond XChem high-throughput crystallography program and initial screening has identified a weakly binding hit for Activin A.
Supervisor: Spring, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Drug Discovery ; Fragments ; Diastereoselective ; Partially Saturated