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    Phosphoryl prodrugs are key compounds in drug development. Biologically active phosphoryl compounds often have negative charges on the phosphoryl group, and as a result, frequently have poor pharmacokinetic (PK) profiles. The use of lipophilic moieties bonded to the phosphorus (or attached oxygen atoms) masks the negative charge of the phosphoryl group, cleavage releasing the active molecule. The use of prodrugs to improve the PK of active parent molecules is an essential step in drug development. This review highlights promising trends in terminal elimination half-life, Cmax, clearance, oral bioavailability, and cLogP in phosphoryl prodrugs. We focus on specific prodrug families: esters, amidates, and ProTides. We conclude that moderating lipophilicity is a key part of prodrug success. This type of evaluation is important for drug development, regardless of clinical application. It is our hope that this analysis, and future ones like it, will play a significant role in prodrug evolution.


    Samuel A Kirby, Cynthia S Dowd. Phosphoryl Prodrugs: Characteristics to Improve Drug Development. Medicinal chemistry research : an international journal for rapid communications on design and mechanisms of action of biologically active agents. 2022 Feb;31(2):207-216

    PMID: 35492863

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