Development of FKBP51 inhibitors as novel antidepressants, analgesics and/or anti-obesity agents
The FK506-binding protein 51 (FKBP51) is a key regulator of the human stress response and an established risk factor for stress-related disorders. In FKBP51-knockout mice we could show an improved stress response. Based on this and on the work of others FKBP51 is considered a novel target for treatment of depression. Recent studies also show that loss of FKBP51 protects against diet-induced obesity and chronic pain.
We developed the so far best FKBP-Inhibitors. Recently we developed the first highly selective FKBP51 inhibitors that had antidepressant-like, anti-obesity and analgesic effects in mice. We are currently improving these compounds to develop a clinical candidate to allow testing FKBP51 inhibition in humans.