Amprenavir (Agenerase, GlaxoSmithKline) is a protease inhibitor used to treat HIV infection. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration on April 15, 1999, for twice-a-day dosing instead of needing to be taken every eight hours. The convenient dosing came at a price, as the dose required is 1,200 mg, delivered in eight very large gel capsules.
Production of amprenavir was discontinued by the manufacturer December 31, 2004; a prodrug version (fosamprenavir) is available.
HIV-1 Protease dimer with Amprenavir (sticks) bound in the active site. PDB entry 3nu3
Research aimed at development of renin inhibitors as potential antihypertensive agents had led to the discovery of compounds that blocked the action of this peptide cleaving enzyme. The amino acid sequence cleaved by renin was found to be fortuitously the same as that required to produce the HIV peptide coat. Structure–activity studies on renin inhibitors proved to be of great value for developing HIV protease inhibitors. Incorporation of an amino alcohol moiety proved crucial to inhibitory activity for many of these agents. This unit is closely related to the one found in the statine, an unusual amino acid that forms part of the pepstatin, a fermentation product that inhibits protease enzymes.
^Getman, D. P.; Decrescenzo, G. A.; Heintz, R. M.; Reed, K. L.; Talley, J. J.; Bryant, M. L.; Clare, M.; Houseman, K. A.; Marr, J. J. (1993). "Discovery of a novel class of potent HIV-1 protease inhibitors containing the (R)-(hydroxyethyl)urea isostere". Journal of Medicinal Chemistry36 (2): 288. doi:10.1021/jm00054a014.edit