Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New chemical synthesis could streamline drug design

17.08.2009
New method gives drug designers more flexibility

A team of MIT chemists has devised a new way to add fluorine to a variety of compounds used in many drugs and agricultural chemicals, an advance that could offer more flexibility and potential cost-savings in designing new drugs.

Drug developers commonly add fluorine atoms to drugs, such as the cholesterol-lowering rosuvastatin, to keep the body from breaking them down too quickly. Many of these drugs contain aromatic rings — a type of six-carbon ring — and attaching a fluorine atom to the rings can be a difficult, expensive process.

"It's hard to add fluorine at a late stage, once you have a complete molecule already put together, because traditional methods can be quite harsh with respect to temperature or other factors," says Stephen L. Buchwald, the Camille Dreyfus Professor of Chemistry at MIT.

In their new technique, Buchwald and his colleagues used a palladium catalyst to attach a fluorine atom to aromatic compounds. The technique could be used in the design and testing of new drugs, or to create new imaging agents for positron emission tomography (PET) scanning.

Donald Watson, a former postdoctoral associate in Buchwald's lab, now an assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Delaware, is lead author of a paper describing the new synthesis in the Aug. 13 early online edition of Science.

During the new process, the palladium catalyst removes a group of atoms called a triflate attached to the aromatic compound, then replaces it with a fluorine atom taken from a simple salt, such as cesium fluoride. This marks the first time chemists have replaced a triflate attached to an aromatic ring with a fluorine atom in one catalytic reaction.

"Many people believed it would not be possible to do this," says Buchwald.

"While the method is probably not currently efficient enough to be used in manufacturing, we are working to speed up the reaction, increase its efficiency and make it more environmentally and user-friendly," says Buchwald. "We ultimately hope to make it general enough to be useful for manufacturing."

The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health. Other authors of the paper are visiting student Mingjuan Su and chemistry graduate student Georgiy Teverovskiy, and postdoctoral fellows Yong Zhang, Jorgé García-Fortanet

Jen Hirsch | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mit.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity
22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden

nachricht The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet
22.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Hope to discover sure signs of life on Mars? New research says look for the element vanadium

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>