Optimization of dipeptide-linked benzimidazole topoisomerase 1 poisons

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R41CA132413-01A2
Agency Tracking Number: CA132413
Amount: $260,988.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2009
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: PHS2009-2
Small Business Information
1214 Research Blvd, Suite 1016, Hummelstown, PA, 17036
DUNS: 095628348
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (843) 876-5091
Business Contact
Phone: (843) 792-3420
Email: cdsmith@apogee-biotech.com
Research Institution
 Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
19 Hagood Ave., Suite 606
CHARLESTON, SC, 29425 6271
 Nonprofit college or university
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Derivatives of camptothecin (CPT) that inhibit Topoisomerase I (Top1) activity have demonstrated clinical utility in the treatment of various cancers. However, limitations in CPT pharmaceutical properties have driven the search for new CPT-like poisons that target the Top1 protein-DNA cleavage complex. We hypothesized that bifunctional agents that simultaneously bind to the DNA minor groove and the nose-cone region of the Top1 protein would be effective poisons with pharmaceutical properties that are superior to the CPT congeners. Such compounds also should be effective against tumors that are otherwise resistant to the CPT structural class of poisons and should generally exhibit reduced toxicity compared to the CPT- class of agents such as topotecan. Structural insights from Top1-DNA crystal structures were used to design a small library of N-acetyl dipeptides linked to Hoechst 33258, a DNA minor groove binder. Screening of the library against a in vitro assays and subsequent library deconvolution afforded a high affinity (EC50 ~ 50 nM) agent, LL217, that also caused growth arrest of several tumor cell lines. Subsequent replacement of the Hoechst with a phenyl- substituted monobenzimidazole provided the agent MB1 that exhibits tumor cell line killing activity similar to LL217 but with substantially reduced off-target effects. Biochemical assays performed with LL217 and MB1 demonstrate that the primary modality of action in tumor cell lines is cell cycle arrest due to inhibition of Top1 activity. Our long-term goal is to translate MB1 into a clinically efficacious drug. Our immediate goal is to produce a refined lead compound with sufficient tissue culture and murine xenograft data to support further development. The immediate goals will be achieved via four specific aims: (1) the structure of MB1 will be slightly modified to facilitate solution phase syntheses, (2) the in vitro and cellular activities of the MB1 derivatives will be assayed and compared to topotecan, (3) the potential therapeutic efficacy of MB1 will be evaluated in murine xenograft tumor models as compared to topotecan, and (4) the pharmaceutical properties of MB1 and topotecan will be evaluated. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Cancer has recently surpassed cardiovascular disease as a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Although new classes of chemotherapeutic agents are needed, it is also desirable to develop agents with improved pharmaceutical properties that target clinically validated targets. The camptothecin class of agents used in the clinic specifically target the Topoisomerase 1 enzyme. However, their poor solubilities and stabilities require the use of large doses, which increases the chances for adverse effects to the patient. The agents described here also target Topoisomerase 1, but they are expected to be more bioavailable and, thus, offer an improvement to the camptothecin class of agents. Because these agents are also structurally distinct, it is expected that they will be clinically efficacious against cancers that have developed resistance to the camptothecins.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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