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J Am Chem Soc. 2003 Feb 26;125(8):2129-35.

Efficient synthesis of NK(1) receptor antagonist aprepitant using a crystallization-induced diastereoselective transformation.

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Department of Process Research, Merck Research Laboratories, Rahway, New Jersey 07065, USA.


An efficient stereoselective synthesis of the orally active NK(1) receptor antagonist Aprepitant is described. A direct condensation of N-benzyl ethanolamine with glyoxylic acid yielded a 2-hydroxy-1,4-oxazin-3-one which was activated as the corresponding trifluoroacetate. A Lewis acid mediated coupling with enantiopure (R)-1-(3,5-bis(trifluoromethyl)phenyl)ethan-1-ol afforded a 1:1 mixture of acetal diastereomers which was converted into a single isomer via a novel crystallization-induced asymmetric transformation. The resulting 1,4-oxazin-3-one was converted via a unique and highly stereoselective one-pot process to the desired alpha-(fluorophenyl)morpholine derivative. Interesting and unexpected [1,2]-Wittig and [1,3]-sigmatropic rearrangements were identified during the optimization of these key steps. In the final step, a triazolinone side chain was appended to the morpholine core. The targeted clinical candidate was thus obtained in 55% overall yield over the longest linear sequence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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