Discovery of BAY-985, a Highly Selective TBK1/IKK epsilon Inhibitor

The serine/threonine kinase TBK1 (TANK-binding kinase 1) and its homologue IKKϵ are noncanonical members of the inhibitor of the nuclear factor κB (IκB) kinase family. These kinases play important roles in multiple cellular pathways and, in particular, in inflammation. Herein, we describe our investigations on a family of benzimidazoles and the identification of the potent and highly selective TBK1/IKKϵ inhibitor BAY-985. BAY-985 inhibits the cellular phosphorylation of interferon regulatory factor 3 and displays antiproliferative efficacy in the melanoma cell line SK-MEL-2 but showed only weak antitumor activity in the SK-MEL-2 human melanoma xenograft model.