We previously identified a novel series of indolinylpyrimidine derivatives exemplified by 2 in Figure 1, which is an indoline based derivative, as potent GPR119 agonists. Despite the attractive potency of 2, this compound inhibited the human ether-a-go-go-related gene (hERG) K channel. We elucidated crucial roles of the methylsulfonyl group of 2 in its interaction with the hERG channel and the GPR119 receptor, presumably as a hydrogen bond acceptor (HBA). To remove the undesirable hERG inhibitory activity, a strategy was implemented to arrange an HBA on a less conformationally flexible framework at the indoline 5-position instead of the methylsulfonyl group. This successfully led to the discovery of a piperidinone ring as a desirable motif at the indoline 5-position, which could minimize hERG liability as shown by 24b. Further optimization focused on the reduction of lipophilicity in terms of more favorable drug-like properties. Consequently, the introduction of a hydroxy group at the 3-position of the piperidinone ring effectively reduced lipophilicity without compromising GPR119 potency, resulting in the identification of (3S)-3-hydroxy-1-{1-[6-({1-[3-(propan-2-yl)-1,2,4-oxadiazol-5-yl]piperidin-4-yl}oxy)pyrimidin-4-yl]- 2,3-dihydro-1H-indol-5-yl}piperidin-2-one ((S)-29) as a novel, potent, and orally bioavailable GPR119 agonist with a well-balanced profile. The pharmacological effects of this compound were also confirmed after single and chronic oral administration in diabetic animal models.

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