Journal of medicinal chemistry

P1-substituted symmetry-based human immunodeficiency virus protease inhibitors with potent antiviral activity against drug-resistant viruses.

PMID 21899332


Because there is currently no cure for HIV infection, patients must remain on long-term drug therapy, leading to concerns over potential drug side effects and the emergence of drug resistance. For this reason, new and safe antiretroviral agents with improved potency against drug-resistant strains of HIV are needed. A series of HIV protease inhibitors (PIs) with potent activity against both wild-type (WT) virus and drug-resistant strains of HIV was designed and synthesized. The incorporation of substituents with hydrogen bond donor and acceptor groups at the P1 position of our symmetry-based inhibitor series resulted in significant potency improvements against the resistant mutants. By this approach, several compounds, such as 13, 24, and 29, were identified that demonstrated similar or improved potencies compared to 1 against highly mutated strains of HIV derived from patients who previously failed HIV PI therapy. Overall, compound 13 demonstrated the best balance of potency against drug resistant strains of HIV and oral bioavailability in pharmacokinetic studies. X-ray analysis of an HIV PI with an improved resistance profile bound to WT HIV protease is also reported.