Thomas MG, De Rycker M, Cotillo Torrejon I, Thomas J, Riley J, Spinks D, Read KD, Miles TJ, Gilbert IH, Wyatt PG.
Chagas’ disease, caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, affects 8–10 million people across the Latin American population and is responsible for around 12,500 deaths per annum. The current frontline treatments, benznidazole and nifurtimox, are associated with side effects and lack efficacy in the chronic stage of the disease, leading to an urgent need for new treatments. A high throughput screening campaign against the physiologically relevant intracellular form of the parasite identified a series of 2,4-diamino-6-methylpyrimidines. Demonstrating the series did not work through the anti-target TcCYP51, and was generally cytocidal, confirmed its suitability for further development. This study reports the optimisation of selectivity and metabolic stability of the series and identification of a suitable lead for further optimisation.