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J Org Chem. 2011 May 20;76(10):3782-90. doi: 10.1021/jo200060f. Epub 2011 Apr 19.

Stereoselective synthesis of PSI-352938: a β-D-2'-deoxy-2'-α-fluoro-2'-β-C-methyl-3',5'-cyclic phosphate nucleotide prodrug for the treatment of HCV.

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  • 1Pharmasset, Inc., 303A College Road East, Princeton, New Jersey 08540, United States.


PSI-352938 is a novel 2'-deoxy-2'-α-fluoro-2'-β-C-methyl 3',5'-cyclic phosphate nucleotide prodrug currently under investigation for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. PSI-352938 demonstrated superior characteristics in vitro that include broad genotype coverage, superior resistance profile, and high levels of active triphosphate in vivo in the liver compared to our first and second generation nucleoside inhibitors of this class. Consequently, PSI-352938 was selected for further development and an efficient and scalable synthesis was sought to support clinical development. We report an improved, diastereoselective synthesis of a key 1'-β-nucleoside intermediate 13 via S(N)2 displacement of 1-α-bromo ribofuranose sugar 16 with the potassium salt of 6-chloro-2-amino purine and an efficient method to prepare cis-Rp cyclic phosphate (PSI-352938) in a highly stereoselective manner without any chromatographic purification. The 1-α-bromo sugar 16 was stereospecifically prepared from the corresponding 1-β-lactol in high yield under mild bromination conditions using CBr(4)/PPh(3) (Appel reaction). The desired cis-Rp 3',5'-cyclic phosphate construction was accomplished using isopropyl phosphorodichloridate readily obtained from POCl(3) and isopropyl alcohol. The base combination of Et(3)N/NMI was identified as a key factor for producing PSI-352938 as the major (>95%) diastereomer (cis-Rp) in high yield after the final cyclization step. The current route described in this article was successfully used to produce PSI-352938 on multikilogram scale.

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