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 July 30, 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 July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Drone King Says the Revolution Depends on Regulators

China's Drone King Says the Revolution Depends on Regulators

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Comparing his current crop of drones to early personal computers, DJI founder Frank Wang says the industry is poised for a growth surge - assuming regulators in more markets clear it for takeoff. Jon Gordon reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand

3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand

AP (July 30, 2014) 3-D printing is a cool technology, but it's not exactly a hands-on way to make things. Enter the 3Doodler: the pen that turns you into the 3-D printer. AP technology writer Peter Svensson takes a closer look. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. 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