Structure-activity relationship studies of a 1,2,4-triazolo-[3,4-b]thiadiazine scaffold, identified in an HTS campaign for selective STAT3 pathway inhibitors, determined that a pyrazole group and specific aryl substitution on the thiadiazine were necessary for activity. Improvements in potency and metabolic stability were accomplished by the introduction of an α-methyl group on the thiadiazine. Optimized compounds exhibited anti-proliferative activity, reduction of phosphorylated STAT3 levels and effects on STAT3 target genes. These compounds represent a starting point for further drug discovery efforts targeting the STAT3 pathway.

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