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Herein, a series of 2,3-dihydrobenzofurans have been developed as highly potent bromo and extra-terminal domain (BET) inhibitors with 1000-fold selectivity for the second bromodomain (BD2) over the first bromodomain (BD1). Investment in the development of two orthogonal synthetic routes delivered inhibitors that were potent and selective but had raised in vitro clearance and suboptimal solubility. Insertion of a quaternary center into the 2,3-dihydrobenzofuran core blocked a key site of metabolism and improved the solubility. This led to the development of inhibitor 71 (GSK852): a potent, 1000-fold-selective, highly soluble compound with good in vivo rat and dog pharmacokinetics.

Original publication




Journal article


J Med Chem

Publication Date





10711 - 10741


Benzofurans, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Humans, Molecular Structure, Proteins, Solubility, Structure-Activity Relationship