Radical way to make chiral drugs

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Related tags: Enantiomer

Australian chemistry specialist Chirogen has been issued a patent
covering a process to make a wide range of chiral compounds.

The process, based on the firm's free radical chemistry, is an efficient and cost effective method of making single enantiomer compounds, which are growing in importance as ingredients and intermediates in the pharmaceutical industry.

Organic compounds tend to exist in two mirror image forms or enantiomers. Whether a compound is left-handed or right-handed plays a role in many aspects of modern science, but it has a major impact in the pharmaceutical industry. Today the majority of new drugs being introduced are made in one chiral form, and this has led to an increased market for tools used in their production.

The US patent (No 6,696,611​) covers the replacement of chiral centres in organic compounds with radical centres, a process which can achieve high enantiomeric purity. It also provides good control over which enantiomer is produced, providing a highly cost-effective method to the production of chirally pure compounds.

Chirogen has commenced scaling up its technology for the production of one of several pharmaceutical compounds that will be produced at clinical trial scale using its technology over the coming months.

Because Chirogen's radical chemistry for chiral synthesis is broadly applicable, little time is required to determine the suitability of the technology to the synthesis of target chiral compounds and intermediates. This significantly reduces the cost of determining the applicability of chiral synthesis approaches, as well as process optimisation costs and timelines, according to the firm.

Chirogen recently completed its second round financing and secured an Australian government grant to complete the process chemistry optimisation and scale-up of its technology.

Chirogen said that its technology focuses on three key application areas: process chemistry optimisation for chiral pharmaceutical compounds in clinical development; production process improvements for commercial chiral pharmaceutical compounds; and the cost-effective production of chiral intermediates for a broad range of pharmaceutical and speciality chemical applications.

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