The pentafluorosulfanyl (-SF5 ) functional group is of increasing interest as a bioisostere in medicinal chemistry. A library of SF5 -containing compounds, including amide, isoxazole, and oxindole derivatives, was synthesised using a range of solution-based and solventless methods, including microwave and ball-mill techniques. The library was tested against targets including human dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (HDHODH). A subsequent focused approach led to synthesis of analogues of the clinically used disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), Teriflunomide and Leflunomide, considered for potential COVID-19 use, where SF5 bioisostere deployment led to improved inhibition of HDHODH compared with the parent drugs. The results demonstrate the utility of the SF5 group in medicinal chemistry.
COVID-19, SARS-COV-2 main protease (Mpro), DMARDs, SF5 group