Fevipiprant (QAW039), a slowly dissociating CRTh2 antagonist with the potential for improved clinical efficacy

David A. Sykes, Michelle E. Bradley, Darren M. Riddy, Elizabeth Willard, John Reilly, Asadh Miah, Carsten Bauer, Simon J. Watson, David A. Sandham, Gerald Dubois, Steven J. Charlton

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33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Here we describe the pharmacologic properties of a series of clinically relevant chemoattractant receptor-homologous molecules expressed on T-helper type 2 (CRTh2) receptor antagonists, including fevipiprant (NVP-QAW039 or QAW039), which is currently in development for the treatment of allergic diseases. [3H]-QAW039 displayed high affinity for the human CRTh2 receptor (1.14 ± 0.44 nM) expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells, the binding being reversible and competitive with the native agonist prostaglandin D2 (PGD2). The binding kinetics of QAW039 determined directly using [3H]-QAW039 revealed mean kinetic on (kon) and off (koff) values for QAW039 of 4.5 × 107 M-1min-1 and 0.048 minute-1, respectively. Importantly, the koff of QAW039 (half-life = 14.4 minutes) was >7-fold slower than the slowest reference compound tested, AZD-1981. In functional studies, QAW039 behaved as an insurmountable antagonist of PGD2-stimulated [35S]-GTPγS activation, and its effects were not fully reversed by increasing concentrations of PGD2 after an initial 15-minute incubation period. This behavior is consistent with its relatively slow dissociation from the human CRTh2 receptor. In contrast for the other ligands tested this time-dependent effect on maximal stimulation was fully reversed by the 15-minute time point, whereas QAW039's effects persisted for >180 minutes. All CRTh2 antagonists tested inhibited PGD2-stimulated human eosinophil shape change, but importantly QAW039 retained its potency in the whole-blood shape-change assay relative to the isolated shape change assay, potentially reflective of its relatively slower off rate from the CRTh2 receptor. QAW039 was also a potent inhibitor of PGD2-induced cytokine release in human Th2 cells. Slow CRTh2 antagonist dissociation could provide increased receptor coverage in the face of pathologic PGD2 concentrations, which may be clinically relevant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-605
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Pharmacology
Volume89
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016
Externally publishedYes

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