Science Pool

Filling a nick in NIK

Inhibition of NF-κB inducing kinase (NIK) has been pursued as a promising therapeutic target for autoimmune disorders due to its highly regulated role in key steps of the NF-κB signaling pathway. Previously reported NIK inhibitors from our group were shown to be potent, selective, and efficacious, but had higher human dose projections than desirable for immunology indications. Herein we report the clearance-driven optimization of a NIK inhibitor guided by metabolite identification studies and structure-based drug design. This led to the identification of an azabicyclo[3.1.0] hexanone motif that attenuated in vitro and in vivo clearance while maintaining NIK potency and increasing selectivity over other kinases, resulting in a greater than ten-fold reduction in predicted human dose.