Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized neuropathologically by an abundance of 1) neuritic plaques, which are primarily composed of a fibrillar 42-amino-acid amyloid-β peptide (Aβ), as well as 2) neurofibrillary tangles composed of aggregates of hyperphosporylated tau. Elevations in the concentrations of the Aβ42 peptide in the brain, as a result of either increased production or decreased clearance, are postulated to initiate and drive the AD pathologic process. We initially introduced a novel class of bridged aromatics referred tγ-secretase modulatoro as γ-secretase modulators that inhibited the production of the Aβ42 peptide and to a lesser degree the Aβ40 peptide while concomitantly increasing the production of the carboxyltruncated Aβ38 and Aβ37 peptides. These modulators potently lower Aβ42 levels without inhibiting the γ-secretase-mediated proteolysis of Notch or causing accumulation of carboxylterminal fragments of APP. In this study, we report a large number of pharmacological studies and early assessment of toxicology characterizing a highly potent γ-secretase modulator (GSM), (S)-N-(1-(4-fluorophenyl)ethyl)-6-(6-methoxy-5-(4-methyl-1H-imidazol-1-yl)pyridin-2-yl)-4-methylpyridazin-3-amine (BPN-15606). BPN-15606 displayed the ability to significantly lower Aβ42 levels in the central nervous system of rats and mice at doses as low as 5-10 mg/kg, significantly reduce Aβ neuritic plaque load in an AD transgenic mouse model, and significantly reduce levels of insoluble Aβ42 and pThr181 tau in a three-dimensional human neural cell culture model. Results from repeatdose toxicity studies in rats and dose escalation/repeat-dose toxicity studies in nonhuman primates have designated this GSM for 28-day Investigational New Drug-enabling good laboratory practice studies and positioned it as a candidate for human clinical trials.
Wagner, S. L., Rynearson, K. D., Duddy, S. K., Zhang, C., Nguyen, P. D., Becker, A., … Tanzi, R. E. (2017). Pharmacological and toxicological properties of the potent oral γ-secretase modulator BPN-15606. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 362(1), 31–44. https://doi.org/10.1124/jpet.117.240861