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1. (WO2019007996) UTILISATION DE COMPLEXES MÉTALLIQUES DE MACROAZAPYRIDINOPHANES DANS LE TRAITEMENT DE MALADIES
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US E O F MAC R OAZAPY R IDINOP HANE S ME TAL C OMP L EX E S IN TH E T R E ATME NT OF DIS EAS E S

FIE L D O F T H E INV E NTION

The present invention relates to metal complexes of macroazapyridinophanes, and compositions thereof, for use in the treatment and prevention of diseases related to the accumulation of intracellular deposits and/or diseases related to defective autophagy and/or defective proteasome activity.

BAC K G R OU ND O F T H E INV E NTION

Lysosomes and proteasomes are the two major cellular paths to eliminate accumulation of intracellular deposits. While lysosomes are critical in breaking down proteins, nucleic acids or lipids into cells through endocytosis, in a process known as autophagy, proteasomes are the main responsible for intracellular protein in eukaryotes.

Autophagy is a lysosomal degradative process used to recycle obsolete cellular constituents and eliminate damaged organelles and protein aggregates. The process of autophagy comprises multiple steps: after the induction of autophagy, parts of the cytoplasm, which can include entire organules, are captured by a double membrane, forming an autophagosome. After that, autophagosomes merge with endosomes and lysosomes forming autolysosomes. It is then that the complete digestion of the organules and macromolecules takes place. T he elongation of the autophagosomal membrane is controlled mainly by two systems of protein conjugation. O ne system implies the conjugation of Atg12 and Atg5 and the other implies the conversion of the cytosolic form of LC3, known as LC3-I, to the lipidic form, known as LC 3-II, which is associated to the autophagosomes membrane. The level of the LC3-II protein is nowadays the most accepted and used biomarker of autophagy activity.

On the other hand, several studies have demonstrated that during aging proteostasis collapses leading to the accumulation of unfolded, misfolded or aggregated proteins, which causes many age-related diseases. One of the main mechanisms for the maintenance of the proteome is the proteasome system, which ensures the removal of damaged or misfolded proteins, and therefore playing a central role at delaying aging.

F inally, several diseases present defects in autophagy and proteasome activity, causing cells to accumulate proteins, lipids or other molecules. In fact, neurons are cells particularly vulnerable to impaired autophagy or proteasome activity. For example, mutant H untingtin, the protein responsible for H untington s disease, is expressed ubiquitously in mammals. However, only the nervous system suffers a substantial impairment after this molecule collapses into aggregates and accumulate into and around the nucleus of neurons. Every other tissue and type of cell remains apparently unaffected. Hence, diseases presenting protein deposits or accumulation clearly have a cellular problem eliminating those internal deposits either through autophagy or proteasome activity.

Thus, there is a need to treat diseases which present accumulation of intracellular deposits, wherein said accumulation is due to metabolic deficiencies resulting in an abnormal accumulation of those deposits and wherein the normal cellular autophagy or proteasome activity is not able to remove them, or diseases wherein said accumulation is due to a defective autophagy or proteasome activity.

G ranted patents E P2492270 and US 9145386 refer to metal complexes comprising a compound described below as A or B. S aid compound comprises a macrocyclic polyazapyridinophane central structure with a quinolone heterocycle attached to said central structure and wherein said quinolone heterocycle is bonded by the 4-position to a methylene group (or bridge) which is bonded in turn to the -NH group of a ethylamine chain linked to said triazapyridinophane central structure (shown as A below), or, alternatively, wherein said quinolone heterocycle is bonded to by the 2-position to the methylene group which is bonded in turn to the -NH group of a ethylamine chain linked to said triazapyridinophane central structure (shown as B below) .


S aid family of metal complexes, comprising the compounds shown as A or B above, are useful, according to the cited patents, to treat therapeutically diseases whose aetiology is rooted in disturbances in the activity of, or a deficiency in endogenous S O D _ (c.f. E P2492270 [0001 ]).

B RIE F DE S C RIPTION O F T H E INVE NTION

The present invention relates to a metal complex comprising a compound of general formula (I)

N


Formula (I)

and at least one metal ion, for use in treatment of diseases related to the accumulation of intracellular deposits, and/or diseases related to defective autophagy and/or defective proteasome activity.

The metal complexes disclosed herein feature thus a triazapyridinophane central linked by the 4-position of a quinolone moiety.

The experimental data disclosed in the present description, relates only to a selection of said family of metal complexes, wherein the quinolone heterocycle featured in said family of metal complexes is bonded by the 4-position to the triazapyridinophane central structure (shown as A).

One embodiment disclosed refers to the metal complexes described above herein for use in the treatment of diseases related to the accumulation of intracellular deposits and/or diseases related to defective autophagy and/or defective proteasome activity, wherein said metal ion is a divalent metal ion.

Another embodiment disclosed refers to the metal complexes described above herein for use in the treatment of diseases related to the accumulation of intracellular deposits and/or diseases related to defective autophagy and/or defective proteasome activity, wherein said divalent metal ion can be selected independently from C u(II), Fe(II), Z n(II) or Mn(II).

Another embodiment of the above disclosed metal complexes for use in the treatment of diseases related to the accumulation of intracellular deposits and/or diseases related to defective autophagy and/or defective proteasome activity, is metal complex (II) which comprises a compound of formula (I) and Mn(II).

The experimental data disclosed shows that activation of autophagy and/or proteasome activity is present only for a specific selection of the family of triazapyridinophane metal complexes disclosed in the above-mentioned patent documents (E P2492270, US 9145386 and WO 2015124824 A1 ). In fact, the present invention relates to the specific selection of metal complexes, wherein the quinolone moiety is linked to the triazapyridinophane central structure by the 4-position, for use in the treatment of diseases related to the accumulation of intracellular deposits and/or diseases related to defective autophagy and/or defective proteasome activity.

Additionally, one embodiment of present invention refers to compositions comprising an effective amount of a metal complex comprising a compound of general formula (I), as described above herein, and at least one metal ion; together with at least one excipient or carrier, for use in the treatment of diseases related to the accumulation of intracellular deposits, and/or diseases related defective autophagy and/or defective proteasome activity. P referably said metal ion is a divalent metal ion, more preferably said diva lent metal ion is can be selected independently from C u(II), Fe(II), Zn(II) or Mn(II), and even more preferably is Mn(II).

B RIE F DE S C RIPTION O F T H E FIG U R E S

F ig. 1 A and 1 B : Levels of LC3-II on human fibroblasts in the presence or absence of metal complex (Π). F ig. 1 A shows the effect of metal complex (II) in LC3-II levels for control cell lines (C 1 and C2) and Lafora patients cell lines (L1 , L2 and M1 ) in complete and fast media (Krebs-Henseleit). F ig. 1 B shows the effect of metal complex (II) in LC 3-Π levels for control cell lines (C 1 and C 2) and L3 and M1 Lafora cell lines in complete and fast media. Fig 1 C shows human fibroblast from Lafora patients (shown as L-3) and healthy human fibroblasts (shown as C-1 ), transfected with fluorescent G F P-LC3, tested in absence or presence of metal complex (II) at 5i M during 6 hours. T he visible points show the autophagic vacuoles. The white line at the bottom of the figure is used for reference and represents 10 ι m.

F ig. 2: Levels of LC3-II on human fibroblasts (cell lines 3349B and 3348D) healthy or with mutations in Laforin (L1 for Laforin mutations on 3349B and L2 for Laforin mutations on 3348D) and Malin (M1 for Malin mutations on 3349B) tested in the absence (labelled as 1 ) or presence of metal complex (Π) at 1 ι M, 5 ι M and 10 ι M concentrations (labelled as 2, 3 and 4

respectively). Rapamycin was used as a positive control (labelled as 5). Label 5* is an error of loading.

F ig. 3: In vitro studies to show the proteasome chymotrypsin-like activation with metal complex (II) in human dermal fibroblasts. R esults are measured in relative luminescence units (R LUs) normalized to the control. F ig 3B shows the test carried out with metal complex (II) at 5 ι M versus a control of non-treated cells, and F ig. 3A shows the test carried out with Pytren 2Q also at 5 I M versus a control of non-treated cells. Pytren 2Q is, as metal complex (II), also a Mn(II) complex comprising a triazapyridinophane central structure, but wherein the quinolone heterocycle is linked by the 2-position to said triazapyridinophane central structure. The quinolone heterocycle in Pytren 2Q is thus linked to the triazapyridinophane central structure by the 2-position and not by the 4-position as in the metal complexes disclosed herein.

F ig. 4: G raphical representation of the model worm Caenorhabditis elegans' (C . elegans) and an instrument to test for gentle touch sensitivity (eyebrow hair glued to the end of a toothpick).

F ig. 5A shows a confocal image of the head of a transgenic worm (C . elegans) showing 1 10Q::TdTomato expression in F LP mechanosensory neurons (shown circled). T he tissue in light grey is the marker for transgenes is (i.e. green fluorescent protein (G F P) expressed in the pharynx). F ig. 5B shows a confocal image showing the F LP neurons expressing 1 10Q::TdTomato aggregates (shown circled). F ig. 5C shows touch assays on three independent strains expressing 1 10Q::TdTomato showing neuronal impairment (lower mechanosensation than wildtype animals). F ig. 5D shows how metal complex (II) is able to rescue neuronal impairment due to 1 10Q::TdTomato expression in a dose-dependent manner. The test was carried out using non-treated animals (expressing 1 10Q::TdTomato showing neuronal impairment) as a control C . R esults in F ig. 5C and 5D presented as % of individuals showing touch response. Metformin (MET F) was used as a positive control

F ig. 6 shows the results of the three replicate tests represented by figure 5D wherein metal complex (II) was tested for gentle touch sensitivity at different concentrations in C . elegans' Huntington's disease model. The tests were carried out using non-treated animals (expressing 1 10Q::TdTomato showing neuronal impairment) as a control C . R esults presented as % of individuals showing touch response. Metformin (MET F) was used as a positive control.

F ig. 7 shows how metal complex (II) is able to rescue neuronal impairment due to 1 10Q::TdTomato expression in a dose-dependent manner versus compound 2Q which does not produce any significant change in the tested doses. The test was carried out using non-treated animals (expressing 1 10Q::TdTomato showing neuronal impairment) as a control C.

Metformin was used as a positive control. R esults presented as % of individuals showing touch response movement.

F ig. 8 shows how metal complex (II) is able to rescue neuronal impairment due to 1 10Q::TdTomato expression (3rd column from the left) compared to non-treated animals (expressing 1 10Q::TdTomato showing neuronal impairment) as a control (1 st column from the left). R esults presented as % of individuals showing touch response. However, when a specific inhibitor of autophagy like C hloroquine was used in combination with metal complex (II), no rescue was detected (column 4th from the left). C hloroquine does not induce additional touch response impairment (column 2nd from the left) to that due to 1 10Q::TdTomato expression (column 1 st from left).

DETAIL E D DE S C R IPTION

The present invention refers therefore, to a metal complex comprising a compound of general formula (I)


Formula (I)

and at least one metal ion, for use in treatment of diseases related to the accumulation of intracellular deposits, and/or diseases related to defective autophagy and/or defective proteasome activity.

As described herein, a metal complex refers to a molecular association of a compound with at least one metal ion, in particularto a molecular association of the compound of general formula (I) with at least one metal ion.

One embodiment of present invention refers to the metal complexes comprising a compound of Formula (I) and at least one metal ion, for use in the treatment of diseases related to the accumulation of intracellular deposits and/or diseases related to defective autophagy and/or defective proteasome activity, wherein said metal ion is a divalent metal ion.

Another embodiment of present invention refers to the metal complexes comprising a compound of Formula (I) and at least one metal ion, for use in the treatment of diseases related to the accumulation of intracellular deposits and/or diseases related to defective autophagy and/or defective proteasome activity, wherein said divalent metal ion is independently selected from C u(II), Fe(II), Zn(II) or Mn(II).

In another embodiment of present invention, the metal complex is metal complex (II) which comprises a compound of formula (I) and Mn(II).

In the context of present invention the diseases related to the accumulation of intracellular deposits and/or diseases related to defective autophagy and/or defective proteasome activity refer, but are not limited to Huntington disease, P rion disease, Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, diseases related to an AAT deficiency (Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency), sphingolipidoses, Niemann-P ick type C disease (NP C), Wolman disease and C holesteryl E ster Storage Diseases (C E S D), glycogen storage diseases, galactosemia, hereditary fructose intolerance, muccopolysaccharidoses, disorders of pyruvate metabolism, phospohoglycerate kinase deficiency, Lafora disease, Adrenoleukodystrophy, Autophagic Vacuolar Myopathies, Danon's disease, C erebral C avernous Malformation (CC M), G ranular corneal dystrophy type 2 (G C D2), C hronic Kidney Disease (C KD), inherited muscle diseases as Bethlem myopathy, Ullrich congenital muscular dystrophy and Myosclerosis, inclusion body myositis; viral infections as HIV, adenovirus, hepatitis B or HT LV; Sjogren's syndrome;; sepsis or metabolic acidosis.

In particular, an embodiment of present invention refers to a metal complex comprising a compound of Formula (I) and at least one metal ion, for use in treatment of diseases related to the accumulation of intracellular deposits and/or defective autophagy and/or defective proteasome activity, according to present invention, wherein said diseases are independently selected from Huntington disease, P rion disease, cataracts, Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, diseases related to an AAT deficiency, sphingolipidoses, Niemann-P ick type C disease (NPC ), Wolman disease and C holesteryl E ster Storage Diseases (C E S D), glycogen storage diseases, galactosemia, hereditary fructose intolerance, muccopolysaccharidoses, disorders of pyruvate metabolism, phospohoglycerate kinase deficiency, Lafora disease, Adrenoleukodystrophy, Autophagic Vacuolar Myopathies, Danon's disease, C erebral Cavernous Malformation (C C M), G ranular corneal dystrophy type 2 (G C D2), C hronic Kidney Disease (C KD), Bethlem myopathy, U llrich congenital muscular dystrophy,

Myosclerosis, inclusion body myositis, HIV, adenovirus, hepatitis B, HT LV; Sjogren's syndrome, sepsis or metabolic acidosis. P referably said diseases are independently selected from Lafora disease, Adrenoleukodystrophy or Huntington disease. More preferably said disease is Lafora disease or Huntington disease.

The metal complexes comprising a compound of Formula (I) and at least one metal ion disclosed herein, stimulate or activate autophagy and proteasome activity, in cells presenting defective autophagy and/or defective proteasome activity. The metal complexes disclosed herein are also capable of reducing the symptoms of diseases presenting defective autophagy and/or defective proteasome activity.

One embodiment of present invention refers to the metal complexes comprising a compound of Formula (I) and at least one metal ion, described above herein for use in the treatment of diseases related to the accumulation of intracellular deposits and/or diseases related to defective autophagy and/or defective proteasome activity, wherein said diseases are age-related diseases.

For the purposes of present description, age-related diseases are diseases associated with increasing senescence which in turn is associated with cellular aging and accumulation of cellular damage, in particular, the accumulation of intracellular deposits which are lipid, carbohydrate or protein deposits.

In the context of this disclosure said age-related diseases, which in turn are associated with accumulation of lipid, carbohydrate or protein deposits refer, but are not limited to diseases related to an AAT deficiency (Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency), Huntington disease, P rion disease, Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, sphingolipidoses, Niemann-P ick type C disease (NPC ), Wolman disease and C holesteryl E ster Storage Diseases (C E S D), glycogen storage diseases, galactosemia, hereditary fructose intolerance, muccopolysaccharidoses, disorders of pyruvate metabolism or phospohoglycerate kinase deficiency.

Another embodiment of present invention refers to the metal complexes comprising a compound of Formula (I) and at least one metal ion, described above herein, for use in the treatment of diseases related to the accumulation of intracellular deposits and/or diseases related to defective autophagy and/or defective proteasome activity, wherein said disease is independently selected from Lafora disease or Huntington disease.

One embodiment of present invention refers to the metal complexes comprising a compound of Formula (I) and at least one metal ion, described above herein, for use in the treatment of diseases which present accumulation of intracellular deposits. In a preferred embodiment said diseases are selected from Lafora disease, Adrenoleukodytrophy or Huntington disease, more preferably Lafora disease or H untington disease.

Lafora disease, also named Lafora progressive myoclonic epilepsy or ME LF is an autosomal recessive genetic disorder characterized by the presence of inclusion bodies (Lafora bodies), within the cytoplasm of the cells of the heart; liver, muscle and skin. Lafora patients present mutations in Laforin or Malin proteins.

The metal complexes comprising a compound of Formula (I) and at least one metal ion, disclosed herein, activate autophagy in cells of patients of Lafora disease with mutations in Laforin and Malin proteins which present deficient autophagy, as shown in EXAMP LE 1 (F igs. 1 and 2). In fact in EXAMP LE 1 fibroblasts from healthy individuals and fibroblasts from Lafora disease patients were tested. R esults show that all fibroblasts have greater levels of LC 3-II protein after the treatment with the metal complex (II), wherein the amount of LC3-II indicates the level of autophagy activation (FIG . 1 and 2).

A first test was carried out with complete media and with fasting media. Partially removing the nutrients from the culture media emulates a cell fasting state (fasting media) and provokes the cell to activate autophagy to obtain energy from degrading internal structures.

The deficient autophagy present in Lafora patients is shown in F ig. 1 A, F ig. 1 B, wherein non-treated cell lines with mutations in Laforin and Malin (L1 , L2, L3 or M1 ) show lower LC3-II level than non-treated control cell lines (C 1 and C2) in both complete and fasting media.

Both control fibroblasts and fibroblasts from Lafora patients (F ig. 1 A and 1 B ) have greater levels of LC3-II protein after the treatment with the metal complex (II), at a concentration of 5 I M during 6 hours.

In fasting media and in absence of metal complex (II), an increment of the level of protein LC 3-Π is seen when compared to the test done with the same cells in complete media, confirming that autophagy increases in absence of nutrients. The treatment with metal complex (II) increases the levels of LC3-II even further in reference with the non-treated cells, confirming the increase of autophagy levels in the cells treated with metal complex (II).

Another study was carried out testing metal complex (Π) at 1 , 5 and 10 ι M concentrations. Levels of LC3-II on human fibroblasts healthy or in human fibroblasts with mutations in Laforin and Malin were tested in the absence (labelled as 1 ) or presence of metal complex (II) at 1 I M, 5 I M and 10 ι M concentrations (labelled as 2, 3 and 4 respectively). Rapamycin was used as a positive control (labelled as 5). Again, the deficient autophagy present in Lafora patients is seen also in this study in Fig.2 comparing the level of LC3-II in healthy non-treated cells with non-treated Lafora cells. The results of the test are shown in F ig. 2 wherein metal complex (Π) increased autophagy when added to the media, showing higher levels of LC 3-Π protein on normal human fibroblasts as well as fibroblasts deficient in Laforin or Malin.

C onsidering that the amount of LC 3-II indicates the level of autophagy activation, said data indicates that metal complex (II) stimulates or activates autophagy in healthy cells and in autophagy deficient cells.

Using a different experiment to study the effect on autophagy of the metal complexes herein disclosed, a fluorescence test with transfected cells with G F P-LC3 was done (F ig 1 C). In this experiment, healthy human fibroblasts (control C-1 ) and fibroblasts from Lafora patients (L-3) were tested in the absence or presence of metal complex (Π). R esults shown in Fig. 1 C indicate that autophagy is increased (measured by the increase of autophagic vacuoles) in presence of metal complex (Π), which indicates again that metal complex (II) stimulates or activates autophagy.

Huntington disease is caused by an autosomal dominant mutation in either one of an individual's two copies of a gene called Huntingtin (Htt). The function of Htt in humans is unclear. Expansion of CAG (cytosine-adenine-guanine) triplet repeats in the gene coding for the Huntingtin protein results in an abnormal protein that encodes a long track of glutamines, which is prone to aggregate with itself and with other proteins. T his sticky, condition of mutant Huntingtin (mHtt) interferes with many important neuronal events (e.g. synaptic transmission, axonal transport, transcription, etc.) and gradually damages cells in the brain through mechanisms which are not fully understood. T his disease is therefore caused by accumulation of mHtt protein in neurons. Degradation of these deposits through proteasome and/or autophagy activation with the metal complexes disclosed herein results in a recession of the symptoms as shown for C . elegans' H untington disease model in EXAMP LE 3.

C . elegans detect and respond to diverse mechanical stimuli using neuronal circuitry. T hese stimuli include gentle touch stimulus delivered to the body, harsh touch to the midbody, harsh touch to the head or tail, nose touch and texture. The initial and most generally used method to test for gentle touch sensitivity is to stroke animals with an eyebrow hair that has been glued to the end of a toothpick (F ig.4).

C . elegans animals used in EXAMP LE 3 expressed 1 10CAG fused in frame with the gene for the red fluorescent protein TdTomato in mechanosensory neurons (1 10Q::TdTomato), as shown in F ig. 5A and 5B . Animals expressing 1 10Q::TdTomato present a neuronal impairment versus the wild type animals (WT), as shown in F ig 5C , wherein the % of animals showing touch response obtained in the test carried out with the neuronally impaired animals

expressing 1 10Q::TdTomato (three different strains) is significantly lower than the one obtained with WT animals.

F igu re 5D (and the 3 replicates of said test shown in figure 6) shows a significant improvement of the % of individuals showing touch response in animals treated with metal complex (II) when compared to non-treated animals, in a dose dependent manner. R esults therefore indicate that the metal complexes of present invention, exemplified by metal complex (II), are able to improve significantly the symptoms shown in C . elegans' Huntington disease model expressing 1 10Q::TdTomato, in a dose dependent manner.

In contrast to this activity, F igu re 7 does not show a significant improvement of the % touch response in animals treated with 2Q when compared to non-treated animals, and thus, 2Q did not significantly improve the touch response in C . elegans' Huntington disease model at any of the doses tested.

The structural differences between 2Q and metal complex (II), are surprisingly responsible for the proteasome and/or a utophagy activation provided by the specific family of metal complexes disclosed herein. As described above, the metal complexes comprising a compound of Formula (I) and at least one metal ion, disclosed herein, feature a quinolone moiety bonded by the 4-position to the triazapyridophane central structure of the molecule, whereas 2Q, which is a compound also featuring a triazapyridophane central structure, features instead said quinolone moiety linked by the 2-position.

All the results shown above strongly supports that metal complex (Π) is able to rescue the toxic effect produced by 1 10Q::TdTomato in neurons and significantly increasing the % of animals showing a touch response.

It was also tested whether this neuronal rescue effect is produced specifically by autophagy. This was done as explained in EXAMP LE 3, where the C. elegans' worms were incubated in the presence of metal complex (II) and chloroquine, which is a well-known inhibitor of autophagy. As FIG U R E 8 shows, animals cultured in the presence of both compounds are no longer rescued, suggesting that the beneficial effect of metal complex II is due to autophagy.

Another embodiment of present invention refers to the metal complexes comprising a compound of Formula (I) and at least one metal ion, described above herein, for use in the treatment of diseases related to defective proteasome activity.

EXAMP LE 2 shows how the compounds of present invention, exemplified by metal complex (II) stimulate the proteasome activity (F ig. 3B). 2Q was also tested under the same test

conditions. F igure 3A shows that, in contrast to the activity shown by metal complex (II), compound 2Q does not stimulate proteasome activity.

Again, those results indicate that the structural difference between 2Q and metal complex (II), wherein the quinolone heterocycle is bonded to a triazapyridophane central structure by the 2-position, instead of by the 4-position, respectively, surprisingly provides to the selection of metal complexes disclosed herein with proteasome and/or a utophagy activation.

One embodiment of present invention refers to a composition, or a pharmaceutical composition, comprising a metal complex comprising a compound of general formula (I) and at least one metal ion, as described above herein; together with at least one excipient or carrier, for use in the treatment of diseases related to the accumulation of intracellular deposits and/or diseases related to defective autophagy and/or defective proteasome activity.

For the purposes of present disclosure, acceptable excipients or carriers are water, saline solution, alcohols, polyethylene glycols, polyhydroxyethoxylated castor oil, peanut oil, olive oil, lactose, terra alba, glucose, fructose, mannitol, cyclodextrin, amylose, magnesium stearate, talc, gelatin, agar, pectin, starch, acacia, stearic acid or lower alkyl ethers of cellulose, silicic acid, fatty acids, fatty acid amines, fatty acid monoglycerides and diglycerides, pentaerythritol fatty acid esters, polyoxyethylene, hydroxymethylcellulose, or polyvinylpyrrolidone, etc.

Another embodiment discloses a composition comprising an effective amount of a metal complex comprising a compound of general formula (I) and at least one metal ion, as described above herein, togetherwith at least one excipient or carrier, for use in the treatment of diseases related to the accumulation of intracellular deposits and/or diseases related to defective autophagy and/or defective proteasome activity.

In general, an effective amount of the compound of interest is employed in treatment. The dosage of compounds used in accordance with the invention varies depending on the compound and the condition being treated for example the age, weight, and clinical condition of the recipient patient. Other factors include: the route of administration, the patient the patient's medical history, the severity of the disease process, and the potency of the particular compound. T he dose should be sufficient to ameliorate symptoms or signs of the disease treated without producing unacceptable toxicity to the patient. In general, an effective amount of the compound is that which provides either subjective relief of symptoms or an objectively identifiable improvement as noted by the clinician or other qualified observer.

Another embodiment of present invention refers to a composition for use, as described above herein, comprising an effective amount of a metal complex comprising a compound of general

formula (I) and at least one metal ion, as described above herein, together with at least one excipient or carrier, for use in the treatment of diseases related to the accumulation of intracellular deposits and/or diseases related to defective autophagy and/or defective proteasome activity, wherein said composition further comprises, optionally, at least a second active compound.

S aid second active compound corresponds to compounds used in the treatment of diseases related to the accumulation of intracellular deposits and/or diseases related to defective autophagy and/or defective proteasome activity, which includes, but is not limited to metformin, nucleic acids, antibodies, microR NA, antioxidants, polyphenolic compounds, dopaminergic inhibitors, cholinesterase inhibitors, riluzole, curcumin, and cell therapies.

Thus, an embodiment of present invention refers to a composition for use, as described above herein, wherein said second active ingredient is independently selected from metformin, a nucleic acid, an antibody, a microR NA, an antioxidant, a polyphenolic compound, a dopaminergic inhibitor, a cholinesterase inhibitor, riluzole or curcumin.

In one embodiment of present invention, the composition comprises an effective amount of a metal complex comprising a compound of general formula (I) and at least one metal ion, as described above herein, together with at least one excipient or carrier, wherein said metal ion is a divalent ion. More preferably, said divalent metal ion is selected from C u(II), Fe(II), Zn(II) or Mn(II).

Another embodiment of present invention discloses a composition comprising an effective amount of a metal complex comprising a compound of general formula (I) and at least one metal ion, as described above herein, and at least one excipient or carrier, for use as described above herein, wherein said metal complex is metal complex (Π).

Another embodiment of present invention discloses a composition as described above herein, for use in the treatment of diseases related to the accumulation of intracellular deposits and/or diseases related to defective autophagy and/or defective proteasome activity, wherein said diseases are age-related diseases.

One embodiment of present invention discloses a composition as described above herein, for use in the treatment of diseases which present accumulation of intracellular deposits. In a preferred embodiment said diseases are selected from Lafora disease, Adrenoleukodytrophy or Huntington disease, more preferably Lafora disease or Huntington disease.

Another embodiment of present invention discloses a composition comprising an effective amount of a metal complex comprising a compound of general formula (I) and at least one

metal ion, as described above herein, together with at least one excipient or carrier, for use in the treatment of diseases related to the accumulation of intracellular deposits and/or diseases related to defective autophagy and/or defective proteasome activity, wherein said diseases are independently selected from Lafora disease or Huntington disease.

One embodiment discloses the use of a metal complex comprising a compound of general formula (I) and at least one metal ion, as described above herein, in the manufacturing of a drug for the treatment of diseases related to the accumulation of intracellular deposits and/or diseases related to defective autophagy and/or defective proteasome activity. P referably said metal ion is a divalent ion, more preferably independently selected from C u(II), Fe(II), Ζη(Π) or Mn(II).

Another embodiment discloses the use of a metal complex comprising a compound of general formula (I) and at least one metal ion, as described above herein, in the manufacturing of a drug for the treatment of diseases related to the accumulation of intracellular deposits and/or diseases related to defective autophagy and/or defective proteasome activity, wherein said metal complex is metal complex (II).

One embodiment of the disclosed invention provides a method of treatment comprising administering an effective amount of a metal complex comprising a compound of general formula (I) and at least one metal ion, as described above herein, to an individual suffering from diseases presenting accumulation of intracellular deposits and/or diseases related to defective autophagy and/or defective proteasome activity. P referably said metal ion is a divalent ion, more preferably independently selected from C u(II), F e(II), Z n(II) or Mn(II).

One embodiment disclosed provides a method of treatment comprising administering an effective amount of a metal complex comprising a compound of general formula (I) and at least one metal ion, as described above herein, to an individual suffering from a disease related to the accumulation of intracellular deposits and/or a disease related to defective autophagy and/or defective proteasome activity, wherein said metal complex is metal complex (II).

EXAMP L E S

EXAMP L E 1 : S tudy of autophagy activation in Lafora diseas e

Two lines of fibroblasts from healthy individuals (controls, C 1 and C 2) and three lines of fibroblasts from Lafora disease patients (L1 and L2, deficient in laforin; M1 , deficient in malin) were tested.

All cell lines were taken from the Centro de Investigaci Eh P rincipe F elipe (CIP F) collection. All the cell lines used from Lafora patients, deficient in laforin [Aguado et al., 2010, Human Molecular G enetics 19, 2867-2876; Knecht et al., 2010, Autophagy, 6, 991 -993] or malin [C riado et al., 2012, Hum. Mol. G enetics 21 , 1 521 -1 533; Knecht et al., 2012, autophagy 8, 701 -703] have a deficit in autophagy.

1.1. S tudy of LC3-II levels

As mentioned before, the level of the LC3-II protein is nowadays the best biomarker of autophagy activity.

It was assessed by Western Blot analysis, as described previously [Moruno-Manchon et al., Biochem. J . 449, 497-506] the levels of LC 3-II in the cell lines mentioned above (C 1 , C2, L1 , L2, M1 , A1 , A2 and A3) which were all incubated in complete medium and fasting media (i.e. partially removing the nutrients from the culture media). To determine the autophagy flow, lysosomal degradation has been inhibited (with 0.2 mM leupeptin and 20 mM NH4C I), as described [F uertes et al., 2003 Biochem. J . 375, 75-86] allowing this way the accumulation of LC3-II protein. Antibodies against LC3 and against Actin, (which was used as charge control) were used.

R esults study 1 :

Study 1 was carried out in cell lines C 1 and C2 (healthy individuals), L1 , L2 and M1 (Lafora patients), with and without treatment with 5 i M of metal complex (Π).

The study was carried out in each case using complete media and using fasting media. Partially removing the nutrients from the culture media emulates a cell fasting state (fasting media) and provokes the cell to activate autophagy to obtain energy from degrading internal structures. As shown in F ig. 1 , control fibroblasts (cell lines C 1 , C2), fibroblasts from Lafora patients (cell lines L1 , L2 and M1 in F ig. 1A and cell lines L3 and M1 in F ig. 1 B ) have greater levels of LC3-II protein after the treatment with the metal complex (II), at a concentration of 5 I M during 6 hours. R esults indicate therefore an increase of autophagy in both healthy and Lafora patient cell lines treated with metal complex (II).

R esults study 2:

Levels of LC3-II on human fibroblasts (3349B and 3348D) healthy or with mutations in laforin (L1 and L2) and malin (M1 ) were tested in the absence (labelled as 1 ) or presence of metal

complex Π at 1 ι M, 5 ι M and 10 ι M concentrations (labelled as 2, 3 and 4 respectively). Rapamycin was used as a positive control (labelled as 5).

As shown in F ig. 2, metal complex (Π) at 1 , 5 and 10 ι M concentrations, improved autophagy defects when added to the media on human fibroblasts deficient in laforin and malin, wherein the amount of LC 3-II indicates the level of autophagy activation.

1.2. S tudy of number of autophagic vac uoles .

This test was carried out with the study of G F P-LC3 fluorescent transfected cells, in order to determine the levels of autophagy in cells treated with metal complex (II). Healthy human fibroblasts and fibroblasts from Lafora patients were transiently transfected with 0.5 ι g of pE G F P-LC3 during 6 hours. Approximately 24 hours after transfection, part of the cells were treated with 5 ι M metal complex (Π) during 6 hours. During the last 90 minutes of the treatment lysosomal inhibitors (0.2 M leupeptin + 20 mM N H4C I) were added.

As shown in F ig. 1 C, metal complex (II) increased the number of autophagic vacuoles, and thus increased autophagy, in human fibroblasts (in both healthy human fibroblasts or human fibroblasts presenting Lafora disease).

EXAMP L E 2: S tudy of proteasome chymotryps in-like activation

In vitro studies to show the proteasome chymotrypsin-like activation with metal complex (II) in human dermal fibroblasts. R esults are measured in relative luminescence units (R LUs) normalized to the control. F ig 3B shows that treatment with metal complex (Π), at a concentration of 5 i M, stimulates the proteasome chymotripsyn-like activity by 64.0 e1 6.0 % (p value= 0.0103), when compared to the control non-treated primary human dermal fibroblasts. T his study was carried out also with 2Q (F ig. 3A), which is Mn(II) complex also comprising a triazapyridinophane central structure, but wherein the quinolone heterocycle in 2Q is in bonded to the triazapyridinophane central structure by the 2-position and not by the 4-position as in the metal complexes disclosed herein. As shown in F ig 3A, said compound did not show any significant effect upon proteasome activity.

The table below summarizes also the results of the test carried out with metal complex (II):

This confirms that only the metal complexes disclosed herein, wherein the quinolone moiety is linked to the triazapyridinophane central structure by the 4-position are useful in the treatment of diseases related to the accumulation of intracellular deposits and/or diseases related to defective autophagy and/or defective proteasome activity.

EXAMP L E 3: R es pons e activation in C . elegans' Huntington's diseas e model.

The study was conducted to assess whether administration of metal complex (II) improves the neurosensitivity (gentle touch sensitivity) in Caenorhabditis elegans' (C. elegans) Huntington's disease model.

C . elegans detect and respond to diverse mechanical stimuli using neuronal circuitry. T hese stimuli include gentle touch stimulus delivered to the body, harsh touch to the midbody, harsh touch to the head or tail, nose touch and texture.

The initial and most generally used method to test for gentle touch sensitivity is to stroke animals with an eyebrow hair that has been glued to the end of a toothpick (Fig.4).

C . elegans expressing 1 10CAG fused in frame with TdTomato in mechanosensory neurons aggregate and induced neural impairment were used. F ig. 5A shows a confocal image of the head of a C . elegans transgenic worm showing 1 10Q::TdTomato expression in F LP mechanosensory neurons (shown circled). T he tissue in light grey is the marker for transgenesis (i.e. green fluorescent protein (G F P) expressed in the pharynx). Fig. 5B shows a confocal image with the detail showing the F LP neurons expressing 1 10Q::TdTomato aggregates (shown circled).

C . elegans neuronal impairment is shown in F ig. 5C , where three independent strains expressing 1 10Q::TdTomato were tested using touch assays, as described above for F ig. 4. All the three strains tested expressing 1 10Q::TdTomato showed neuronal impairment (lower mechanosensation shown as % of individuals showing touch response), as seen in F ig. 5C, when compared to the results of wildtype animals (labelled as WT).

F ig. 5D shows how metal complex (Π) is able to rescue neuronal impairment, due to 1 10Q::TdTomato expression, in a dose-dependent manner. The test was carried out using non-treated animals (expressing 1 10Q::TdTomato and thus showing neuronal impairment) as a control C, and animals treated with Metformin at 2 mM were used as a positive control. The results are based on the three experimental replicates shown in F ig. 6. E ach test was carried out treating animals (expressing 1 10Q::TdTomato showing neuronal impairment) with 5, 10 and 20 ι M concentrations of metal complex (II), using non-treated animals as a control and animals treated with Metformin at a concentration of 2mM as a positive control.

F ig. 7 shows how metal complex (II) is able to rescue neuronal impairment due to 1 10Q::TdTomato expression in a dose-dependent manner versus compound 2Q which does not produce any significant change in the tested doses. The test was carried out using non-treated animals (expressing 1 10Q::TdTomato showing neuronal impairment) as a control C. Metformin was again used as a positive control. Again, these data indicate that only the selection of metal complexes disclosed herein, wherein the quinolone moiety is linked to the triazapyridinophane central structure by the 4-position are useful in the treatment of diseases related to the accumulation of intracellular deposits and/or diseases related to defective autophagy and/or defective proteasome activity.

F inally, it was tested whether the rescue of the neuronal impairment due to 1 10Q::TdTomato expression shown with the treatment of metal complex (Π) is produced by activation of autophagy. To this end, the worm C . elegans (expressing 1 10Q::TdTomato showing neuronal impairment) was incubated in the presence of metal complex (Π) with and without the presence of chloroquine, a well-known inhibitor of autophagy. As control, animals (expressing 1 10Q::TdTomato showing neuronal impairment) were also incubated with and without the presence of chloroquine but without treatment with metal complex (Π). As FIG . 8 shows, animals cultured in the presence of both compounds are no longer rescued, suggesting that the beneficial effect of metal complex II is due to autophagy and not to other possible mechanisms.

Example 4: Acute toxicity, in vivo, of a metal complex of Formula (I)

To evaluate the acute toxicity metal complex (II) was administered in vivo to a total of 12 mice divided in 4 groups of 3 mice. Male and female mice bodyweight was between 24 to 30g and 17 to 22g respectively. Metal complex (II) was administered to the mice orally together with a phosphate saline buffer (P BS ) or with NaC I O.9%.

Acute toxicity experiments showed neither death, nor reduced locomotor activity in the tested mice (males and females) at doses up to 200 mg/kg administered orally, either in P BS or in NaC I at 0.9%.