The study of tachykinin NK1 (substance P) receptor antagonists has emerged as a field of great promise due to accumulating evidence that NK1 antagonists offer possible new treatment options in therapeutic areas ranging from pain, emesis, and pulmonary disorders to depression and anxiety. It is hoped that the unique mechanism of action of these agents, which involves modulation of effects mediated by the interaction of the neuropeptide substance P with its Gprotein coupled receptor, will provide improvements over existing therapies. For this reason many pharmaceutical companies are engaged in intense research programs with the goal of bringing safe and effective new drugs to the market. To date a wealth of diverse NK1 antagonists have been discovered, several of which have been evaluated in clinical trials. Despite rich structural diversity in this area of medicinal chemistry a number of structural features are commonly shared amongst otherwise unrelated antagonists. This theme and others are covered with the aim of conveying recent successful approaches to the discovery of potent and selective nonpeptide NK1 antagonists. This review focuses mainly on reports appearing in the year 2001 and the first half of 2002.
Keywords: substance p, neurokinin, tachykinin, nk1 antagonist, depression, emesis, anxiety
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