An Anthrone-Based Kv7.2/7.3 Channel Blocker with Improved Properties for the Investigation of Psychiatric and Neurodegenerative Disorders

A set of novel Kv7.2/7.3 (KCNQ2/3) channel blockers was synthesized to address several liabilities of the known compounds XE991 (metabolic instability and CYP inhibition) and the clinical compound DMP 543 (acid instability, insolubility, and lipophilicity). Using the anthrone scaffold of the prior channel blockers, alternative heteroarylmethyl substituents were installed via enolate alkylation reactions. Incorporation of a pyridazine and a fluorinated pyridine gave an analog (JDP-107) with an optimal combination of potency (IC<sub>50</sub>= 0.16 𝜇M in a Kv7.2 thallium flux assay), efficacy in a Kv7.2/7.3 patch clamp assay, and drug-like properties.