The serine/threonine kinase ‘AKT’, commonly known as protein kinase B or PKB, plays a vital role in regulating diverse cellular functions. AKT has three isoforms (AKT1, AKT2 and AKT3) which play a vital role in diverse cellular functions including cell size/growth, proliferation, survival, glucose metabolism, genome stability, transcription and protein synthesis, and neovascularization. A plethora of studies supports have proven that the AKT signaling cascade is frequently impaired in many types of cancers, including, breast, lung, gastric, ovary and pancreas. It is also proven to be associated with tumor aggressiveness. Thus AKT is considered as one a potent target candidate for cancer therapy. AKT inhibitors are targeted drug molecules that hold the potential to inhibit the activated form of AKT that leads to normal functioning of AKT kinases.
Research and development activity for AKT inhibitors is quite robust. Clinical experiments on investigational AKT molecules are focused on cancers including breast cancer, gastric cancer, prostate cancer, multiple myeloma. The AKT inhibitors pipeline has more than 20 molecules across various stages of clinical development which are likely to gain regulatory approval in foreseeable future. Few of the key pipeline AKT inhibitors include AT13148, SR13688, LY2780301, BAY 1125976, AZD5363, GSK690693, and A 443654. In pipeline analysis, these molecules are analyzed on the basis of route of administration (ROA) and type of molecule. The pipeline is also assessed based on monotherapy and combination therapy, and different clinical phases including Phase III, Phase II, Phase I and Pre-clinical stage. Few of the key companies which are involved in the development of Akt inhibitors include Otsuka, Eli Lilly, Bayer, GSK, Merck, Novartis, Amgen, and AbbVie.
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