meta-Non-flat substituents: a novel molecular design to improve aqueous solubility in small molecule drug discovery†
Aqueous solubility is a key requirement for small-molecule drug candidates. Here, we investigated the regioisomer–physicochemical property relationships of disubstituted benzenes. We found that meta-isomers bearing non-flat substituents tend to possess the lowest melting point and the highest thermodynamic aqueous solubility among the regioisomers. The examination of pharmaceutical compounds containing a disubstituted benzene moiety supported the idea that the introduction of a non-flat substituent at the meta position of a benzene substructure would be a promising approach for medicinal chemists aiming to improve the thermodynamic aqueous solubility of drug candidates, even though it might not be universally effective.