Disclosed is a series of improved metal chelating agents, which are highly effective upon both injection and oral administration; several of the most effective are of low toxicity. These chelating agents incorporate within their structure 1-hydroxy-2-pyridinone (1,2-HOPO) and 3-hydroxy-2-pyridinone (3,2-HOPO) moieties with a substituted carbamoyl group ortho to the hydroxy or oxo groups of the hydroxypyridinone ring. The electron-withdrawing carbamoyl group increases the acidity of the hydroxypyridinones. In the metal complexes of said chelating agents, the amide protons form very strong hydrogen bonds with its adjacent HOPO oxygen donor, making these complexes very stable at physiological conditions. The terminal N-substituents provides a certain degree of lipophilicity to said 3,2-HOPO, increasing oral activity. Also disclosed is a method of making the chelating agents and a method of producing a known compound, 3-hydroxy-1-alkyl-2(1H)pyridinone, used as a precursor to the chelating agent, safely and in large quantities.
The Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC03-76SF00098 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The uranium and plutonium chemistry is supported through DOE. The iron chemistry is supported on the Berkeley campus by NIH grants AI 11744 and DK 32999. The plutonium decorporation and ligand toxicology are supported by NIEHS grant ES 02698.