Inhibitor of Apoptosis (IAP) proteins as drug targets for the treatment of cancer Academic Article uri icon


  • Three companies, Genentech, Aegera Therapeutics/Human Genome Sciences, and Novartis, have commenced phase 1 clinical trials of inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) antagonist 'Smac mimetic' compounds for the treatment of cancer. These trials represent the culmination of a line of research that commenced with analysis of how insect viruses stop host cells from killing themselves and led to the discovery of a family of proteins that regulate development in insects and signalling by tumour necrosis factor superfamily members in mammals, which prompted development of drugs that mimic natural IAP-binding proteins to promote cell death.

publication date

  • October 29, 2009