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Making light work of organic synthesis: carbon monoxide- step forward

Perhaps the most atom economical method for introduction of a carbonyl group into an organic substrate is to use carbon monoxide.1 Millions of tonnes of bulk chemicals are converted to various carbonyl-containing derivatives that are essential commodity products in daily life using this simple C1 unit year on year. Not surprisingly the molecule has a

Vaska’s complex- Reagent of the month

Iridium is ubiquitous in organic synthesis. In the last decade alone we have seen its impact as a phtoredox catalyst for a wide range of light-driven reactions that are difficult to achieve using traditional synthetic methods.1 In addition, iridium has rich utility in C-H activation chemistry- a recent review by Cramer highlighting chiral complexes as

In full flow-continuously battling bacteria with boron

Increasing multidrug resistance to antimicrobial agents, particularly in Gram-negative bacteria, is a significant global healthcare challenge. Carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae (CRE) has been declared as one of the most urgent drug-resistant threats in the United States. Much like the cephalosporin B-lactams in the 1980’s, heavy clinical reliance on carbapenem b-lactam antibiotics over the past few decades has

Breaking up is hard to do

As synthetic chemists we are very familiar with making chemical bonds, particularly C-C bonds, and building complex molecules. Having said that, fundamentally, with sufficient energy and entropy in the driving seat, it should be quicker and easier to break molecules apart. Deconstructive processes are not, however, as common as one might think- particularly cleavage of

Favipiravir and the battle against COVID-19

Whilst I was working towards my PhD in the early 90’s I remember reading ‘The Hot Zone’ by Richard Preston.1 Although non-fiction it read very much like a Michael Critchton2 thriller- describing the emergence and spread of viral hemorrhagic fevers and filoviruses such as Ebola and Marburg. Viruses such as Ebola are somewhat self-limiting in that the

Named Chemical Reactions Quiz 2019- The Answers….

**Spoiler Alert** Below are the answers and references for our 2019 Named Chemical Reaction Quiz. If you want to try the quiz before looking at the answers click Here…                                                    

Named Chemical Reactions Quiz 2019

The delegates at our 6th Winter Process Chemistry Conference in Birmingham, UK had a little homework to do. See how you get on with our 2019 Named Chemical Reactions Quiz. Answers and references will be posted in the new year  

Reagent of the Month- 2,2,2-Trichloro-1,1-dimethyl chloroformate

Netarsudil- a ROCK kinase inhibitor marketed by Aerie pharmaceuticals as RhopressaTM– was recently approved by the FDA for ocular hypertension.1 An asymmetric synthesis is challenging due to the aryl group lowering the pKa of the α-hydrogen, rendering it very susceptible to racemization both during synthesis of the amino acid and subsequently amide coupling to an unreactive, poorly

Interview with Dr David Leahy, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, USA

Dr John Studley, Scientific Director at Scientific Update recently spoke to Dr David Leahy, Takeda, USA ahead of his presentaion at the 2019 Catalysis in the Pharmaceutical and Fine Chemical Industry Conference in Lucerne, Switzerland. David will talk about “A Pharmaceutical Industry Perspective on Sustainable Metal Catalysis”- following on from his paper published recently in Organometallics

Fluorine and sulfur- an old combination with a new lease of life

The use of fluorine and fluorine-containing functional groups in medicinal chemistry, agrochemicals and advanced materials has grown over the past fifty years.1 Not surprisingly this increase in utility tracks with notable developments and refinements in safe and accessible synthetic methodology, both on the discovery and development front and in subsequent manufacturing. A recent example that caught

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