Study: Chloroindazole compounds show promise as treatments 

February 25, 2019
A new study suggests compounds based on chloroindazole reduce inflammation as well as promote neuroprotection and remyelination, improving the primary symptoms in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. Researchers at the School of Medicine at University of California, Riverside, report their efforts to create new forms of the drug chloroindazole, a compound that acts on a subset of estrogen receptors. Their work shows that these new compounds offer the protective effects of estrogen without the unpleasant side effects.

Previous studies have shown that estrogens and estrogen-like compounds reduce MS-like inflammation and disability in mice. At first glance these treatments appear promising, but they carry a host of negative side effects. A team of scientists piggy-backed on this approach with a new concept that side steps the negative side effects while alleviating symptoms.

The researchers turned to colleagues at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to develop the analogues based on the parent molecule, chloroindazole. Researchers at the Department of Chemistry at UIUC, began by adding various chemical groups to the backbone of the parent molecule to produce 20 analogues. The research team at School of Medicine at University of California, Riverside, screened these chloroindazole analogues and identified two – ¾ IndCl-o-Cloro and IndCl-o-Methyl – as the most promising candidates. They examined the therapeutic effect of the two analogues and found these compounds performed better in reducing disability and encouraging remyelination than the parent compound without any noticeable side effects.

Results of mouse model studies sometimes do not translate to humans and may be years away from being a marketable treatment. According to the study’s authors, this family of compounds has potential for future therapeutic development, especially for the protection for neurons and myelin nerve covering. They stress that more work is necessary to explore the effect of the analogues at different doses and given at different stages of the disease. However, the researchers are hopeful that these new compounds have the potential to reach the market in the next few years.

The findings were published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports.

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