Nav1.7 is an extensively investigated target for pain with a strong genetic link in humans, yet in spite of this effort, it remains challenging to identify efficacious, selective, and safe inhibitors. Here, we disclose the discovery and preclinical profile of GDC-0276 (1) and GDC-0310 (2), selective Nav1.7 inhibitors that have completed Phase 1 trials. Our initial search focused on close-in analogues to early compound 3. This resulted in the discovery of GDC-0276 (1), which possessed improved metabolic stability and an acceptable overall pharmacokinetics profile. To further derisk the predicted human pharmacokinetics and enable QD dosing, additional optimization of the scaffold was conducted, resulting in the discovery of a novel series of N-benzyl piperidine Nav1.7 inhibitors. Improvement of the metabolic stability by blocking the labile benzylic position led to the discovery of GDC-0310 (2), which possesses improved Nav selectivity and pharmacokinetic profile over 1.
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