Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Method To Efficiently Produce Less Toxic Drugs Using Organic Molecules

Date:
July 9, 2009
Source:
Nanyang Technological University
Summary:
Chemists have developed a method to use small organic molecules as catalysts, in the synthesis process called organocatalysis. Such synthesis process takes place during the production of chiral drugs.

Nanyang Technological University (NTU)’s Associate Professor Zhong Guofu has made a significant contribution to the field of organic chemistry, in particular the study of using small organic molecules as catalysts, in the synthesis process called organocatalysis. Such synthesis process takes place during the production of chiral drugs.

In his study, Professor Zhong, who is from NTU’s School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, has successfully created the first example where an organocatalyst is able to be ‘recycled’ (i.e. multiple reactions achieved with the recycled catalyst) during the synthesis process thus increasing its yield/effectiveness. Previously no one has been able to ‘recycle’ the organocatalysts directly (i.e. only single reactions performed) leading to the limitation of the use of organocatalysis in the industry.

This ability to ‘recycle’ and produce multiple reactions thus increases the efficacy of the organocatalysis, making it a more efficient process, something that has not been demonstrated before. It also means that fewer chemicals are used in the synthesis process, making it a far more ‘green’ and less toxic process.

Professor Zhong has written a paper on his discovery, which has been published in a recent edition of the scientific journal ChemComm.

The study of organocatalysis using organic molecules (which exists in nature, e.g. protein, amino acids) is a relatively new idea that started less than 10 years ago. The present dominant catalysts used in such synthesis process are ‘ligand-metal catalysts’ (such as ligand-copper, -palladium, -platinum, -ruthenium etc). However when compared to organocatalysts, ligand-metal catalysis is considered less ‘green’ and thus more ‘toxic’.

However, the problem with using organocatalysts is that it is usually not an efficient or cost effective process since relatively a high catalyst loading is needed, compared to ligand-metal catalysis.

Professor Zhong is seeking patent in the United States for his hi process, which will be useful for the synthesis of certain chiral drug molecules which will be less toxic and produced under more efficient processes. The other advantage is that this process is considered ‘highly enantioselective’ – producing asymmetric synthesis that is desirable, for example, in synthesising certain drugs with chiral centers.

Professor Zhong is also filing for another patent related to his findings on domino synthesis, where the production process of one of the leading anti-cholesterol drugs in the world will be able to be shortened from its present 11 production steps to only 2-3 steps in the synthesis of its core intermediate. Pharmaceutical firms have expressed interest in adopting his methodology in their drug discovery and production process.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Nanyang Technological University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Nanyang Technological University. "Method To Efficiently Produce Less Toxic Drugs Using Organic Molecules." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090708074032.htm>.
Nanyang Technological University. (2009, July 9). Method To Efficiently Produce Less Toxic Drugs Using Organic Molecules. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090708074032.htm
Nanyang Technological University. "Method To Efficiently Produce Less Toxic Drugs Using Organic Molecules." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090708074032.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) An electric car that proponents hope will replace horse-drawn carriages in New York City has also been revealed at the auto show. (Apr. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

AFP (Apr. 17, 2014) It walks and runs, even up and down stairs. It can open a bottle and serve a drink, and politely tries to shake hands with a stranger. Meet the latest ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins