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Xi-Ping Huang, Che T, Mangano TJ, Le Rouzic V, Pan YX, Majumdar S, Cameron M, Baumann M, Pasternak GW, Roth BL. 
“Pharmacology OF W-18 AND W-15”. 
bioRxiv. 2016 July 24.
W-18 (1-(4-Nitrophenylethyl)piperidylidene-2-(4-chlorophenyl)sulfonamide) and W-15 (4-chloro-N-[1-(2-phenylethyl)-2-piperidinylidene]-benzenesulfonamide) represent two emerging drugs of abuse chemically related to the potent opioid agonist fentanyl (N-(1-(2-phenylethyl)-4-piperidinyl)-N-phenylpropanamide). Here we describe the comprehensive pharmacological profiles of W-18 and W- 15. Although W-18 and W-15 have been described as having potent antinociceptive activity and are presumed to interact with opioid receptors, we found them to be without detectible opioid activity at μ, δ, κ and nociception opioid receptors in a variety of assays. We also tested W-18 and W-15 for activity as allosteric modulators at opioid receptors and found them devoid of significant positive or negative allosteric modulatory activity. Comprehensive profiling at essentially all the druggable G-protein coupled receptors in the human genome using the PRESTO-Tango platform revealed no significant activity. In silico predictions using the Similarity Ensemble Approach suggested activity for W-18 only weakly at H3-histamine receptors, which was not confirmed in radioligand binding studies. Weak activity at the sigma receptors and the peripheral benzodiazepine receptor were found for W-18 (Ki=271 nM); W-15 displayed weak antagonist activity at 5-HT2-family serotonin receptors. W-18 is extensively metabolized, but its metabolites also lack opioid activity. W-18 and W-15 did inhibit hERG binding suggesting possible cardiovascular side-effects with high doses. Thus although W-18 and W-15 have been suggested to be potent opioid agonists, our results reveal no significant activity at these or other known targets for psychoactive drugs.

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