Introduction: Bisphosphonates (BPs) are widely used to manage a variety of bone disorders, including osteoporosis, metastatic bone disease and myeloma bone disease. The nitrogen-containing BPs (NBPs) target osteoclast activity by disrupting protein prenylation via inhibition of farnesyl diphosphate synthase (FDPS). Areas covered: This review summarizes the recent advances in BPs with a focus on the latest patents (2015–2018). Patents involving novel BPs, new modes of BP delivery, as well as use of BPs to deliver other drugs to bone are discussed. A review of phosphonate-based drugs targeting geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase (GGDPS) or geranylgeranyl transferase II (GGTase II) as alternative strategies to disrupt protein geranylgeranylation is provided. Expert opinion: While the NBPs remain the mainstay of treatment for most bone disorders, further understanding of their pharmacological properties could lead to further refinement of their chemical structures and optimization of efficacy and safety profiles. In addition, the development of NBP analogs or drug delivery mechanisms that allow for nonbone tissue exposure could allow for the use of these drugs as direct anticancer agents. The development of GGDPS and GGTase II inhibitors represents alternative heterocycle phosphonate-based strategies to disrupt protein geranylgeranylation and may have potential as anticancer agents and/or as bone-targeted therapies.
- farnesyl diphosphate synthase
- lytic bone disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Drug Discovery