UNII: ND1SOF0DLU, WHO 11553, 9-ING-41
- OriginatorNorthwestern University; University of Illinois at Chicago
- DeveloperActuate Therapeutics; Incyte Corporation; Levine Cancer Institute; University of Kansas Medical Center
- ClassAntineoplastics; Benzofurans; Dioxolanes; Indoles; Pyrroles; Small molecules
- Mechanism of ActionGlycogen synthase kinase 3 beta inhibitors
- Orphan Drug StatusYes – Glioblastoma; Neuroblastoma
- Phase IIAdenoid cystic carcinoma; Myelofibrosis; Neuroblastoma; Pancreatic cancer; Salivary gland cancer
- Phase I/IICancer
- PreclinicalBrain cancer; Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia; Colorectal cancer
- 20 Sep 2022Elraglusib – Actuate Therapeutics receives Fast Track designation for Pancreatic cancer [IV] (Combination therapy, First-line therapy, Late-stage disease, Metastatic disease, Recurrent) in USA
- 03 Jun 2022Efficacy and safety data from a phase I trial in cancer presented at the 58th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO-2022)
- 08 Apr 2022Preclinical trials in Brain cancer in USA (unspecified route)
9-ING-41 is under investigation in clinical trial NCT04218071 (Actuate 1901: 9-ING-41 in Myelofibrosis).
3-(5-Fluorobenzofuran-3-yl)-4-(5-methyl-5H-[l,3]dioxolo[4,5-f]indol-7-yl)pyrrole-2,5-dione (“9-ING-41”) has the following chemical structure:
 9-ING-41 has been reported as being useful for the treatment of cancers, including brain, lung, breast, ovarian, bladder, neuroblastoma, renal, and pancreatic cancers, as well as for treatment of traumatic brain injury.
 The structure, properties, and/or biological activity of 9-ING-41 are set forth in U.S. Patent Number 8,207,216; Gaisina et al., From a Natural Product Lead to the Identification of Potent and Selective Benzofuran-3-yl-(indol-3-yl)maleimides as Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3β Inhibitors That Suppress Proliferation and Survival of Pancreatic Cancer Cells, J. Med. Chem. 2009, 52, 1853-1863; and Hilliard, et al., Glycogen synthase kinase 3β inhibitors induce apoptosis in ovarian cancer cells and inhibit in-vivo tumor growth, Anti-Cancer Drugs 2011, 22:978-985.
Example 1: Preparation of 9-ING-41
 Crude 9-ING-41 can be obtained by the general methods described in U.S. Patent Number 8,207,216, and in Gaisina et al., From a Natural Product Lead to the
Identification of Potent and Selective Benzofuran-3-yl-(indol-3-yl)maleimides as Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3β Inhibitors That Suppress Proliferation and Survival of Pancreatic Cancer Cells, J. Med. Chem. 2009, 52, 1853-1863.
Example 2: Preparation of 9-ING-41 Crystalline Form I
 Crystalline Form I of 9-ING-41 may also be prepared as follows.
Synthesis of Intermediate 1
 Into a 3-L 4-necked round-bottom flask, purged and maintained with an inert atmosphere of nitrogen, was placed 6-nitro-2H-l,3-benzodioxole-5-carbaldehyde (200 g, 1.02 mol, 1.00 equiv), ammonium acetate (200 g, 2.59 mol, 2.53 equiv), acetic acid (2 L), and nitromethane (313 g, 5.13 mol, 5.00 equiv). The solution was stirred for 12 h at lOOoC. The reaction repeated three times. The solutions were combined and diluted with 20 L of water. The resulting solution was extracted with 3×10 L of ethyl acetate and the organic layers were combined. The mixture was washed with 3×10 L of brine, dried over anhydrous sodium sulfate and concentrated under vacuum. This resulted in 450 g (crude) of 5-nitro-6-[(E)-2-nitroethenyl]-2H-l,3-benzodioxole (1) as a dark green solid.
Synthesis of Intermediate 2
 Fe (120 g, 2.14 mol, 17.01 equiv) was slowly added in portions into a suspension of 5-nitro-6-[(Z)-2-nitroethenyl]-2H-l,3-benzodioxole (30 g, 125.97 mmol, 1.00 equiv), silica gel (120 g) in acetic acid (300 mL), toluene (200 mL), and cyclohexane (400 mL) at 80oC under nitrogen. The resulting black mixture was stirred for 8h at 80oC.The reaction repeated ten times. The reaction mixtures were combined. The solids were filtrated out. The filtrate was concentrated under vacuum and the residue was applied onto a silica gel column with ethyl acetate/petroleum ether (1/5). The collected fractions were combined and concentrated under vacuum to give 67.3 g (33%) of 2H, 5H-[1, 3] dioxolo [4, 5-f] indole (2) as an off-white solid.
Synthesis of Intermediate 3
 Sodium hydride (19.9 g, 497.50 mmol, 1.18 equiv, 60%) was added in portions into a solution of 2H,3H,5H-furo[2,3-f]indole (67.3 g, 422.78 mmol, 1.00 equiv) in N,N-
dimethylformamide (1.3 L) at 0°C under nitrogen. The mixture was stirred for lh at 0°C and CH3I (70.9 g, 499.51 mmol, 1.18 equiv) was added dropwise. The resulting solution was stirred for 3 h at room temperature. The solution was quenched by added 1 L of ice water. The resulting solution was extracted with 3×1 L of ethyl acetate and the organic layers were combined. The mixture was washed with 3×1 L of brine, dried over anhydrous sodium sulfate and concentrated under vacuum. The residue was applied onto a silica gel column with ethyl acetate/petroleum ether (1/10). The collected fractions were combined and concentrated under vacuum to give 71 g (97%) of 5-methyl-2H,3H,5H-furo[2,3-f]indole (3) as a light yellow solid.
Synthesis of Int rmediate 4
 Ethyl 2-chloro-2-oxoacetate (220 g, 1.61 mol, 3.96 equiv) was added dropwise into a solution of 5-methyl-2H,3H,5H-furo[2,3-f]indole (70.4 g, 406.44 mmol, 1.00 equiv) in ethyl ether (1.6 L) at OoC under nitrogen. The resulting solution was warmed to room temperature and stirred for 4 h. The reaction was quenched slowly by the addition of 2 L of ice water and the pH value of the resulting solution was adjusted to 9 by Na2C03. The resulted mixture was extracted with 3×1.5 L of ethyl acetate. The organic layers were combined and dried over anhydrous sodium sulfate and concentrated under vacuum to give 92.8 g (84%) of ethyl 2-[5-methyl-2H,3H,5H-furo[2,3-f]indol-7-yl]-2-oxoacetate (4) as a light yellow solid.
 1H MR (300 MHz, DMSO-d6): δ 8.28 (s, 4H), 7.56 (s, 4H), 7.27 (s, 4H), 6.17 (s, 1H), 6.08 (s, 8H), 4.35 (q, J = 7.1 Hz, 7H), 3.85 (s, 11H), 3.35 (s, 2H), 1.35 (t, J = 7.1 Hz, 11H), 1.25 (s, 2H).
Synthesis of Intermediate 5
 Into a 10-L 4-necked round-bottom flask was placed 2-bromo-4-fluorophenol (500 g, 2.62 mol, 1.00 equiv), N,N-dimethylformamide (5 L), potassium carbonate (1253 g, 9.07 mol, 3.46 equiv), and ethyl (2E)-4-bromobut-2-enoate (1010 g, 5.23 mol, 2.00 equiv). The resulting solution was stirred for 12 h at room temperature. The solids were collected by filtration. The reaction was then quenched by the addition of 15 L of water and extracted with 3×10 L of ethyl acetate. The organic layers were combined and washed with 4×20 L of brine. The mixture was dried over anhydrous sodium sulfate and concentrated under vacuum. The residue was applied onto a silica gel column with ethyl acetate/petroleum ether (1/20). The collected fractions were combined and concentrated under vacuum to give 500 g (63%) of ethyl (2E)-4-(2-bromo-4-fluorophenoxy)but-2-enoate (5) as a white solid.
Synthesis of Intermediate 6
 Into a 2-L 3 -necked round-bottom flask, purged and maintained with an inert atmosphere of nitrogen, was placed ethyl (2E)-4-(2-bromo-4-fluorophenoxy)but-2-enoate (125 g, 412.37 mmol, 1.00 equiv), benzyltri ethyl azanium chloride (99 g, 434.64 mmol, 1.05 equiv), sodium formate dihydrate (45.1 g), Pd(OAc)2 (2.9 g, 12.92 mmol, 0.03 equiv), sodium carbonate (92 g, 868.01 mmol, 2.10 equiv), and N,N-dimethylformamide (1.25 L). The resulting solution was stirred for 12 h at 80°C. The reaction repeated four times. The reaction mixtures were combined and the solids were filtrated out. The filtrate was diluted with 10 L of brine and extracted with 3×5 L of ethyl acetate. The organic layers were combined and washed with 4×6 L of brine. The mixture was dried over anhydrous sodium sulfate and concentrated under vacuum. The residue was applied onto a silica gel column with ethyl acetate/petroleum ether (1/20). The collected fractions were combined and concentrated under vacuum. This resulted in 258 g (crude) of ethyl 2-(5-fluoro-l-benzofuran-3-yl)acetate (6) as light yellow oil.
Synthesis of Intermediate 7
 Into a 5-L round-bottom flask was placed ethyl 2-(5-fluoro-l-benzofuran-3-yl)acetate (147 g, 661.53 mmol, 1.00 equiv), methanol (1 L), tetrahydrofuran (1 L), water (1 L), and Li OH (47.7 g, 1.99 mol, 3.01 equiv). The resulting solution was stirred for 3 h at room temperature. The reaction repeated twice. The mixture was concentrated under vacuum and then extracted with 1 L of dichloromethane. The aqueous layer was collected and the pH of the layer was adjust to 1-3 by hydrogen chloride (1 mol/L). The resulting solution was extracted with 3×1 L of ethyl acetate and the combined organic layers were dried over anhydrous sodium sulfate and concentrated under vacuum. This resulted in 160 g (62%) of 2-(5-fluoro-l-benzofuran-3-yl)acetic acid (7) as a white solid.
Synthesis of Intermediate 8
 Into a 10-L round-bottom flask was placed 2-(5-fluoro-l-benzofuran-3-yl) acetic acid (160 g, 824.1 mmol, 1.00 equiv), H4C1 (436 g, 8.16 mol, 9.89 equiv), N,N-dimethylformamide (6L), DIEA (1064 g, 8.24 mol, 9.99 equiv), and HATU (376 g, 988.88 mmol, 1.20 equiv). The resulting solution was stirred for 12 h at room temperature. The resulting solution was diluted with 10 L of water. The solids were collected by filtration to give in 126 g (78%) of 2-(5-fluoro-l-benzofuran-3-yl) acetamide (8) as a white solid.
Synthesis of 9-ING-41 in cr stalline Form I
 t-BuOK (1200 mL, 1 mol/L in THF) was added dropwise into a solution of ethyl 2-[5-methyl-2H,3H,5H-furo[2,3-f]indol-7-yl]-2-oxoacetate (100 g, 365.9 mmol, 1.00 equiv), 2-(5-fluoro-l-benzofuran-3-yl)acetamide (72 g, 372.7 mmol, 1.02 equiv) in tetrahydrofuran (3 L) at 0°C under nitrogen. The reaction was stirred for 2h at room temperature. The reaction was cooled to 0°C and poured into of 2 L of H4C1 (saturated solution in water) and extracted with 4×2 L of dichloromethane. The organic layers were combined, dried over anhydrous sodium sulfate and concentrated under vacuum. The residue was applied onto a silica gel column with ethyl acetate/dichloromethane/petroleum ether (1/1/5). The collected fractions were combined and concentrated under vacuum to give 107.9 g (74%) of 3-(5-fluoro-l-benzofuran-3-yl)-4-[5-methyl-2H,5H-[l,3]dioxolo[4,5-f]indol-7-yl]-2,5-dihydro-lH-pyrrole-2,5-dione as a red solid. This red solid is 9-ING-41 crystalline Form I. MS-ESI: [M+H]+ = 405.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry (2009), 52(7), 1853-1863
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Elraglusib is a maleimide-based, small molecule inhibitor of glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3; serine/threonine-protein kinase GSK3) with potential antineoplastic activity. Upon intravenous administration, elraglusib binds to and competitively inhibits GSK-3, which may lead to downregulation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB) and decreased expression of NF-kappaB target genes including cyclin D1, B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2), anti-apoptotic protein XIAP, and B-cell lymphoma extra-large (Bcl-XL). This may inhibit NF-kappaB-mediated survival and chemoresistance in certain tumor types. GSK-3, a constitutively active serine/threonine kinase that plays a role in numerous pathways involved in protein synthesis, cellular proliferation, differentiation, and metabolism, is aberrantly overexpressed in certain tumor types and may promote tumor cell survival and resistance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Actuate Therapeutics Announces Initiation of a Multicenter Randomized Trial of Elraglusib Plus FOLFIRINOX As First Line Therapy for Advanced Pancreatic Cancer
CHICAGO and FORT WORTH, Texas, Feb. 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Actuate Therapeutics (Actuate), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, today announced the opening of a randomized study of elraglusib (9-ING-41) plus FOLFIRINOX alone or with Losartan for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer in the first-line setting (NCT05077800). Elraglusib is Actuate’s proprietary small molecule glycogen synthase kinase-3 beta (GSK-3β) inhibitor which is being developed for adults and children with advanced refractory cancers. This multicenter investigator-initiated study, which is receiving substantial support from the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, is being led by Colin D. Weekes MD at the Massachusetts General Hospital and will also enroll patients at the University of Washington, University of Colorado Denver, and Johns Hopkins University.
“Novel approaches for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer are urgently required,” said Dr Weekes. “The pre-clinical and clinical data being generated with elraglusib in a spectrum of cancers, including pancreatic cancer, is extremely encouraging and we are delighted to have initiated this study with elraglusib. Elraglusib is the first clinically relevant specific GSK-3β inhibitor that we can thoroughly investigate. In preclinical models, elraglusib has multiple biologic effects relevant to targeting pancreatic cancer including direct cytotoxicity, reversal of chemoresistance, reversal of pathologic fibrosis, and there is increasing evidence of its immune-modulatory activity. In our study, we are particularly focused on elraglusib’s potential to synergize with TGF-β suppression mediated by Losartan. This study builds on the work of our investigative teams demonstrating the roles of TGF-β and GSK-3β in acquired chemotherapy resistance. This study uniquely attempts to harness the mechanisms that pancreatic cancer utilizes to combat the effects of chemotherapy as an Achilles heel for therapeutic intent. We believe that a multi-pronged attack as represented by elraglusib plus Losartan is a potentially sophisticated approach to a complex, often lethal, situation. It is an honour to lead this multicenter collaboration with my clinical and pre-clinical colleagues across the US and Europe. We are very grateful for the critical support of this program by the Lustgarten Foundation.”
“At the Lustgarten Foundation, we understand time is everything for patients and their families,” said Andrew Rakeman, PhD, VP of Research. “Dr. Weekes’ study will help us understand and address a critical issue in pancreatic cancer treatment—acquired chemotherapy resistance. This trial builds on exciting observations from previous preclinical and clinical research. The Foundation established the Clinical Accelerator Initiative for projects like this; bringing more trials based on the best science to the clinic and expanding our understanding of pancreatic cancer biology and treatment. We believe Dr. Weekes’ trial and others like it have the potential to change the way we think about treating pancreatic cancer, ultimately transforming it into a curable disease.”
“We are honored and excited to collaborate with Dr. Weekes, his colleagues at world-leading cancer research centers, and the Lustgarten Foundation on this important trial, which will advance the development of elraglusib for treating patients with one of the most challenging types of cancer,” said Daniel Schmitt, Actuate’s President & CEO. “The results we have seen to date with elraglusib combined with chemotherapy in pancreatic cancer are very promising, and this Phase 2 trial in combination with FOLFIRINOX leverages significant positive preclinical and clinical experience for potentially better outcomes for patients.”
Based on positive data from a prior Phase 2 open-label single arm study of elraglusib plus gemcitabine/nab-paclitaxel, Actuate has also recently initiated an international randomized controlled study of elraglusib in combination with gemcitabine/nab-paclitaxel, in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer in the first-line setting (NCT03678883, EudraCT#:2018-003739-32). Actuate is also conducting studies in pediatric patients with refractory tumors in preparation for a neuroblastoma-specific clinical program (NCT04239092). Actuate is also collaborating with investigators at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital on a Phase 2 study focused on elraglusib combined with cytotoxic therapy for patients with advanced salivary gland carcinomas (NCT05010629).
About Actuate Therapeutics, Inc.
Actuate is a clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics for cancers and inflammatory diseases. For additional information, please visit the Company’s website at http://www.actuatetherapeutics.com.
///////////ELRAGLUSIB, WHO 11553, 9-ING-41, Orphan Drug