Design, Synthesis, and Biological Evaluation of Triazolo-pyrimidine Derivatives as Novel Inhibitors of Hepatitis B Virus Surface Antigen (HBsAg) Secretion

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Journal of medicinal chemistry



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The high levels of hepatitis B virus (HBV) surface antigen (HBsAg)-bearing subviral particles in the serum of chronically infected individuals play an important role in suppressing HBV-specific immune response and are only mildly affected by the current small molecule therapies. Thus, a therapy that specifically reduces HBsAg serum levels could be used in combination therapy with nucleos(t)ide drugs or permit therapeutic vaccination for the treatment of HBV infection. Herein, we report the design, synthesis, and evaluation of novel triazolo-pyrimidine inhibitors (1, 3, and 4) of HBsAg cellular secretion, with activity against drug-resistant HBV variants. Extensive SAR led to substantial improvements in the EC50 of the parent compound, 5 (HBF-0259), with the best being 3c, with EC50 = 1.4 ± 0.4 μM, SI ≥ 36. The lead candidates, both 1a (PBHBV-001) and 3c (PBHBV-2-15), were well-tolerated in both normal and HBV-transgenic mice and exhibited acceptable pharmacokinetics and bioavailability in Sprague–Dawley rats.