Discovery of BWA-522, a First-in-Class and Orally Bioavailable PROTAC Degrader of the Androgen Receptor Targeting N-Terminal Domain for the Treatment of Prostate Cancer.

We report small molecular PROTAC compounds targeting the androgen receptor N-terminal domain (AR-NTD), which were obtained by tethering AR-NTD antagonists and different classes of E3 ligase ligands through chemical linkers. A representative compound, BWA-522, effectively induces degradation of both AR-FL and AR-V7 and is more potent than the corresponding antagonist against prostate cancer (PC) cells in vitro. We have shown that the degradation of AR-FL and AR-V7 proteins by BWA-522 can suppress the expression of AR downstream proteins and induce PC cell apoptosis. BWA-522 achieves 40.5% oral bioavailability in mice and 69.3% in beagle dogs. In a LNCaP xenograft model study, BWA-522 was also proved to be an efficacious PROTAC degrader, resulting in 76% tumor growth inhibition after oral administration of a dose of 60 mg/kg. This study indicates that BWA-522 is a promising AR-NTD PROTAC for the treatment of AR-FL- and AR-V7-dependent tumors.

Journal of medicinal chemistry. 2023 Aug 09 [Epub]

Bowen Zhang, Chang Liu, Zhenqian Yang, Sai Zhang, Xiaolin Hu, Baohu Li, Mei Mao, Xiao Wang, Zhuoyue Li, Shumin Ma, Siqi Zhang, Chong Qin

Key Laboratory of Marine Drugs, Chinese Ministry of Education, School of Medicine and Pharmacy, Ocean University of China, Qingdao, Shandong 266003, China.