Investigating 3,3-Diaryloxetanes as Potential Bioisosteres in Drug Discovery
Oxetanes have received increasing interest in medicinal chemistry as attractive polar and low molecular weight motifs. The application of oxetanes as replacements for methylene, methyl, gem-dimethyl and carbonyl groups has been demonstrated to often improve chemical properties of target molecules for drug discovery purposes. The investigation of the properties of 3,3-diaryloxetanes, particularly of interest as a benzophenone replacement, remains largely unexplored. With recent synthetic advances in accessing this motif we studied the effects of 3,3-diaryloxetanes on the physicochemical properties of ‘drug-like’ molecules. Here, we describe our efforts in the design and synthesis of a range of drug-like compounds for matched molecular pair analysis to investigate the viability of the 3,3-diaryloxetane motif as a replacement group in drug discovery. We conclude that the properties of the diaryloxetanes and ketones are similar, and generally superior to related alkyl linkers, and that diaryloxetanes provide a potentially useful new design element.