Importance of the field: The evolution of targeted therapies is dependent upon identification of cellular moieties that can be pharmacologically modulated. As one such example, the serine-threonine kinase Akt was identified nearly two decades ago. Since then, its role in mediating multiple signaling cascades (ultimately leading to cell growth and proliferation) has since been identified. More recently, several agents have been developed that antagonize Akt--these agents are in various stages of clinical testing.
Areas covered in this review: Herein, we outline development of several promising Akt inhibitors, including perifosine, MK-2206, RX-0201, PBI-05204, GSK2141795 and others.
What the reader will gain: The reader will gain insight into the current pipeline of Akt inhibitors, and the degree to which these agents have been examined both clinically and preclinically.
Take home message: With an emerging pipeline of agents targeting Akt, it will be critical to decipher which amongst them holds the greatest promise. Herein, we explore this drug pipeline and provide strategies for determining the future clinical application of these agents.