Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitors: a recent update on inhibitor design and clinical trials (2016–2020)

Dima A. Sabbah, Rima Hajjo, Sanaa K. Bardaweel, Haizhen A. Zhong

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Introduction: The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/protein kinase-B/mammalian target of rapamycin (PI3K/AKT/mTOR) signaling pathway plays a central role in regulating cell growth and proliferation and thus has been considered as effective anticancer drug targets. Many PI3K inhibitors have been developed and progressed to various stages of clinical trials, and some have been approved as anticancer treatment. In this review, we discuss the drug design and clinical development of PI3K inhibitors over the past 4 years. We review the selectivity and potency of 47 PI3K inhibitors. Structural determinants for increasing selectivity toward PI3K subtype-selectivity or mutant selectivity are discussed. Future research direction and current clinical development in combination therapy of inhibitors involved in PI3Ks are also discussed. Area covered: This review covers clinical trial reports and patent literature on PI3K inhibitors and their selectivity published between 2016 and 2020. Expert opinion: To PI3Kα mutants (E542K, E545K, and H1047R), it is highly desirable to design and develop mutant-specific PI3K inhibitors. It is also necessary to develop subtype-selective PI3Kα inhibitors to minimize toxicity. To reduce drug resistance and to improve efficacy, future studies should include combination therapy of PI3K inhibitors with existing anticancer drugs from different pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)877-892
Number of pages16
JournalExpert Opinion on Therapeutic Patents
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2021


  • PI3K
  • cancer
  • clinical trials
  • combination therapy
  • inhibitors
  • trafficking cascade

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


Dive into the research topics of 'Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitors: a recent update on inhibitor design and clinical trials (2016–2020)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this