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One-pot triangular chemoenzymatic cascades for the syntheses of chiral alkaloids from dopamine

One-pot triangular chemoenzymatic cascades for the syntheses of chiral alkaloids from dopamine

Green Chem., 2015, 17,852-855
DOI: 10.1039/C4GC02325K, Communication
*Corresponding authors
aDepartment of Biochemical Engineering, University College London, Bernard Katz Building, Gordon Street, London, UK
bDepartment of Chemistry, University College London, Christopher-Ingold Building, 20 Gordon Street, London, UK
Green Chem., 2015,17, 852-855

DOI: 10.1039/C4GC02325K

Royal Society of Chemistry
image file: c4gc02325k-s1.tif
Scheme 1 Overview of the biocatalytic and non-enzymatic cascades presented in this work, including the ‘triangular’ cascade.
image file: c4gc02325k-u1.tif
image file: c4gc02325k-u2.tif
image file: c4gc02325k-s2.tif
Scheme 2 One-pot chemoenzymatic synthesis of (S)-4 and (S)-5. Reaction conditions: (a) 20 mM 2, 10 mM sodium pyruvate, 500 μg mL−1 NCS and 20% v.v−1 CV2025 lysate, 50 mM HEPES pH 7.5, 37 °C, 3 h. (b) 40 mM formaldehyde, 1 M sodium phosphate, pH 6, 30 min, 37 °C.
Prof Helen Hailes
  • Professor of Chemical Biology
  • Dept of Chemistry
  • Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences
Research Summary
Research activity in our group is focused on the use of synthetic organic chemistry to probe and solve biological problems. Current projects include the use of water as a reaction solvent and the use of catalytic and biocatalytic synthetic strategies. Also novel kinase inhibitors, cytosine-based hydrogen-bonding polymers and new lipid design for use in a ternary gene delivery vector.
Academic Background
1991 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Organic Chemistry University of Cambridge
1987 BA Bachelor of Arts – Chemistry and Metallurgy University of Cambridge

publications..total 146


9 Research Activities

Route Design in the 21st Century: The ICSYNTH Software Tool as an Idea Generator for Synthesis Prediction

Originally posted on New Drug Approvals:


The new computer-aided synthesis design tool ICSYNTH has been evaluated by comparing its performance in predicting new ideas for route design to that of historical brainstorm results on a series of commercial pharmaceutical targets, as well as literature data. Examples of its output as an idea generator are described, and the conclusion is that it adds appreciable value to the performance of the professional drug research and development chemist team.

Chemical Development, AstraZeneca R&D, Silk Road Business Park, Macclesfield, SK10 2NA Cheshire, U.K.
Chemnotia AB, Forskargatan 20 J, 151 36 Södertälje,Sweden
§InfoChem GmbH, Landsberger Straße 408/V, D-81241 München, Germany

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A Novel and Practical Synthesis of Ramelteon

Originally posted on New Drug Approvals:

Abstract Image

An efficient and practical process for the synthesis of ramelteon 1, a sedative-hypnotic, is described. Highlights in this synthesis are the usage of acetonitrile as nucleophilic reagent to add to 4,5-dibromo-1,2,6,7-tetrahydro-8H-indeno[5,4-b]furan-8-one 2 and the subsequent hydrogenation which successfully implement four processes (debromination, dehydration, olefin reduction, and cyano reduction) into one step to produce the ethylamine compound 13where dibenzoyl-l-tartaric acid is selected both as an acid to form the salt in the end of hydrogenation and as the resolution agent. Then, target compound 1 is easily obtained from13 via propionylation. The overall yield in this novel and concise process is almost twice as much as those in the known routes, calculated on compound 2.

A Novel and Practical Synthesis of Ramelteon

State Key Lab…

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Two-Step Cyanomethylation Protocol: Convenient Access to Functionalized Aryl- and Heteroarylacetonitriles


Two-Step Cyanomethylation Protocol: Convenient Access to Functionalized Aryl- and Heteroarylacetonitriles

Publication Date (Web): January 15, 2015 (Letter)
DOI: 10.1021/ol503479g



A two-step protocol has been developed for the introduction of cyanomethylene groups to metalated aromatics through the intermediacy of substituted isoxazoles. A palladium-mediated cross-coupling reaction was used to introduce the isoxazole unit, followed by release of the cyanomethylene function under thermal or microwave-assisted conditions. The intermediate isoxazoles were shown to be amenable to further functionalization prior to deprotection of the sensitive cyanomethylene motif, allowing access to a wide range of aryl- and heteroaryl-substituted acetonitrile building blocks.

Eli Lilly has officially opened new research facilities at its R&D base in Erl Wood in Surrey.

Eli Lilly and Company has announced a five year research partnership with the University of Surrey to study health outcomes, focusing on the effects of …


Logistics of process R&D: transforming laboratory methods to manufacturing scale

Originally posted on New Drug Approvals:

The manufacture of a | omeprazole (racemic product; top), and esomeprazole (the (S)-enantiomer; bottom), including b | a flow chart of the process for the …

Nature Reviews Drug Discovery2, 654-664(August 2003) | doi:10.1038/nrd1154

Logistics of process R&D: transforming laboratory methods to manufacturing scale

Hans-Jürgen Federsel

In the past, process R&D — which is responsible for producing candidate drugs in the required quantity and of the requisite quality — has had a low profile, and many people outside the field remain unaware of the challenges involved. However, in recent years, the increasing pressure to achieve shorter times to market, the demand for considerable quantities of candidate drugs early in development, and the higher structural complexity — and therefore greater cost — of the target compounds, have increased awareness of the importance of process R&D. Here, I discuss the role of…

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Structure property calculation in apps: MMDS

Originally posted on Cheminformatics 2.0:

mmds_propcalcs00An important milestone in has been reached in the migration of complicated structure-based calculations to pure mobile. The latest version of MMDS (1.5.9) is now available on the AppStore, and allows visualisation of calculated properties for individual molecules, as well as calculating new columns for entire datasheets.

The previous post described how recent porting of core technology (e.g. substructure query fragment searching) to Objective-C and iOS has opened the door to a variety of calculation types, including atom type-based contribution methods, while the post before that described how the porting of modern fingerprint types has enabled Bayesian models to be used. These progressions are significant, because the previous method of choice for carrying out difficult (or resource intensive) calculations was to hand off the data to a webservice, and await a response. The two technical arguments in favour of taking this approach are slowly but surely eroding: as device…

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