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59467-70-8 CAS NO OF FREE BASE

59467-94-6 MALEATE, Launched – 1982, Roche (Originator)

59467-96-8 (HCl)

CAS Registry Number: 59467-70-8
CAS Name: 8-Chloro-6-(2-fluorophenyl)-1-methyl-4H-imidazo[1,5-a][1,4]benzodiazepine
Molecular Formula: C18H13ClFN3
Molecular Weight: 325.77
Percent Composition: C 66.36%, H 4.02%, Cl 10.88%, F 5.83%, N 12.90%
Literature References: Short-acting deriv of diazepam, q.v. Prepn: R. I. Fryer, A. Walser, DE 2540522eidem, US 4280957 (1976, 1981 both to Hoffmann-La Roche); A. Walser et al., J. Org. Chem. 43, 936 (1978). HPLC determn in plasma: S. L. Eeckhoudt et al., J. Chromatogr. B 710, 165 (1998). Toxicity data: L. Pieri et al., Arzneim.-Forsch. 31, 2180 (1981). Series of articles on pharmacology, metabolism, pharmacokinetics, clinical experience: ibid. 2177-2288; Br. J. Clin. Pharmacol. 16, Suppl. 1, 1S-199S (1983). Review of pharmacology and therapeutic use: J. W. Dundee et al., Drugs 28, 519-543 (1984); in treatment of status epilepticus: D. F. Hanley, J. F. Kross, Clin. Ther. 20, 1093-1105 (1998). Clinical evaluation for intranasal treatment of febrile seizures in children: E. Lahat et al., Br. Med. J. 321, 83 (2000).
Properties: Colorless crystals from ether/methylene chloride/hexane, mp 158-160°. uv max (2-propanol): 220 nm (e 30000).
Melting point: mp 158-160°
Absorption maximum: uv max (2-propanol): 220 nm (e 30000)
Derivative Type: Maleate
CAS Registry Number: 59467-94-6
Manufacturers’ Codes: Ro-21-3981/001
Trademarks: Dormicum (Roche)
Molecular Formula: C18H13ClFN3.C4H4O4
Molecular Weight: 441.84
Percent Composition: C 59.80%, H 3.88%, Cl 8.02%, F 4.30%, N 9.51%, O 14.48%
Properties: Crystals from ethanol/ether, mp 114-117° (solvated). LD50 in male mice (mg/kg): 760 orally; 86 i.v. (Pieri).
Melting point: mp 114-117° (solvated)
Toxicity data: LD50 in male mice (mg/kg): 760 orally; 86 i.v. (Pieri)
Derivative Type: Hydrochloride
CAS Registry Number: 59467-96-8
Manufacturers’ Codes: Ro-21-3981/003
Trademarks: Hypnovel (Roche); Versed (Roche)
Molecular Formula: C18H13ClFN3.HCl
Molecular Weight: 362.23
Percent Composition: C 59.68%, H 3.90%, Cl 19.57%, F 5.24%, N 11.60%
Properties: Sol in aqueous solns.
NOTE: This is a controlled substance (depressant): 21 CFR, 1308.14.
Therap-Cat: Anesthetic (intravenous); anticonvulsant; sedative, hypnotic.
Keywords: Anesthetic (Intravenous); Anticonvulsant; Sedative/Hypnotic; Benzodiazepine Derivatives.

A short-acting hypnotic-sedative drug with anxiolytic and amnestic properties. It is used in dentistry, cardiac surgery, endoscopic procedures, as preanesthetic medication, and as an adjunct to local anesthesia. The short duration and cardiorespiratory stability makes it useful in poor-risk, elderly, and cardiac patients. It is water-soluble at pH less than 4 and lipid-soluble at physiological pH.

Midazolam (/mɪˈdæzəlæm/, marketed in English-speaking countries and Mexico under the trade names DormicumHypnovel, andVersed,) is a short-acting drug in the benzodiazepine class developed by Hoffmann-La Roche in the 1970s. The drug is used for treatment of acute seizures, moderate to severe insomnia, and for inducing sedation and amnesia before medical procedures. It possesses profoundly potentanxiolyticamnestichypnoticanticonvulsantskeletal muscle relaxant, and sedative properties.[6][7][8] Midazolam has a fast recovery time and is the most commonly used benzodiazepine as a premedication for sedation; less commonly it is used for induction and maintenance of anesthesia.Flumazenil, a benzodiazepine antagonist drug, can be used to treat an overdose of midazolam, as well as to reverse sedation.[7] However, flumazenil can trigger seizures in mixed overdoses and in benzodiazepine-dependent individuals, so is not used in most cases.[9][10]


Administration of midazolam by the intranasal or the buccal route (absorption via the gums and cheek) as an alternative to rectally administereddiazepam is becoming increasingly popular for the emergency treatment of seizures in children. Midazolam is also used for endoscopyprocedural sedation and sedation in intensive care. The anterograde amnesia property of midazolam is useful for premedication before surgery to inhibit unpleasant memories. Midazolam, like many other benzodiazepines, has a rapid onset of action, high effectiveness and low toxicity level. Drawbacks of midazolam include drug interactions, tolerance, and withdrawal syndrome, as well as adverse events including cognitive impairment and sedation. Paradoxical effects occasionally occur, most commonly in children and the elderly, particularly after intravenous administration. The drug has also recently been hastily introduced for use in executions in the USA in combination with other drugs.

Midazolam is a short-acting benzodiazepine in adults with an elimination half-life of one to four hours; however, in the elderly, as well as young children and adolescents, the elimination half-life is longer. Midazolam is metabolised into an active metabolite alpha1-hydroxymidazolam. Age related deficits, renal and liver status affect the pharmacokinetic factors of midazolam as well as its active metabolite. However, the active metabolite of midazolam is minor and contributes to only 10 percent of biological activity of midazolam. Midazolam is poorly absorbed orally with only 50 percent of the drug reaching the bloodstream. Midazolam is metabolised by cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes and by glucuronide conjugation. The therapeutic as well as adverse effects of midazolam are due to its effects on the GABAA receptors; midazolam does not activate GABAA receptors directly but, as with other benzodiazepines, it enhances the effect of the neurotransmitter GABA on the GABAA receptors (↑ frequency of Cl− channel opening) resulting in neural inhibition. Almost all of the properties can be explained by the actions of benzodiazepines on GABAA receptors. This results in the following pharmacological properties being produced: sedation, hypnotic, anxiolytic, anterograde amnesia, muscle relaxation and anti-convulsant.Midazolam maleate is a benzodiazepine that is commercialized by Astellas Pharma and Roche as an intravenous or intramuscular injection for the long-term sedation of mechanically ventilated patients under intensive care. The drug is also available in a tablet formulation, and is currently distributed in various markets, including Germany, Japan, Switzerland and the U.K. In March 2002, two lots of a syrup formulation were recalled in the U.S. due to the potential presence of a crystalline precipitate of an insoluble complex of midazolam and saccharin. Subsequently, the injection and syrup formulations of the product were both withdrawn from the U.S. market. In 2010, a Pediatric Use Marketing Authorization (PUMA) was filed for approval in the E.U. by ViroPharma for the treatment of prolonged, acute, convulsive seizures in infants, toddlers, children and adolescents, from 3 months to less than 18 years. In 2011, a positive opinion was assigned to the PUMA and final approval was assigned in June 2011. The product was launched in the U.S. in November 2011. This product was filed for approval in Japan in 2013 by Astellas Pharma for the conscious sedation in dentistry and dental surgery. In the same year the product was approved for this indication.

In terms of clinical development, a nasal formulation of the drug is in phase III clinical trials at Upsher-Smith for rescue treatment of seizures in patients on stable anti-epileptic drug regimens who require control of intermittent bouts of increased seizure activity (seizure clusters). The Hopitaux de Paris had been developing a sublingual tablet formulation of midazolam to be used in combination with morphine for the treatment of pain in children following bone fractures; however, no recent development has been reported for this indication. NovaDel Pharma had been developing the compound preclinically for the treatment of generalized anxiety, however no recent developments have been reported.

Midazolam achieves its therapeutic effect through interaction with the gamma-aminobutyric acid benzodiazepine (GABA-BZ) receptor complex. Subunit modulation of the GABA-BZ receptor chloride channel macromolecular complex is hypothesized to be responsible for some of the pharmacological properties of benzodiazepines, which include sedative, anxiolytic, muscle relaxant, and anticonvulsive effects in animal models. GABA acts at inhibitory synapses in the brain by binding to specific transmembrane receptors in the plasma membrane of both pre- and post-synaptic neurons, opening ion channels and bringing about a hyperpolarization via either chloride or potassium ion flow.

In 2008, fast track designation was assigned to midazolam maleate in the U.S. for the treatment of seizure disorders.

In 2009, Orphan Drug Designation was received in the U.S. by for the treatment of seizure disorders in patients who require control of intermittent bouts of increased seizure activity (e.g. acute repetitive seizures, seizure clusters). This designation was assigned in the U.S. for the treatment of nerve agent-induced seizures.

In 2010, midazolam maleate was licensed to Upsher-Smith by Ikano Therapeutics for the treatment of acute repetitive seizure in patients with epilepsy. However, in 2010, Ikano closed and dissolved its business. Previously, Ikano had transferred to Upsher-Smith ownership of it nasal midazolam maleate program.


Midazolam is among about 35 benzodiazepines which are currently used medically, and was synthesised in 1975 by Walser and Fryer at Hoffmann-LaRoche, Inc in the United States.Owing to its water solubility, it was found to be less likely to cause thrombophlebitis than similar drugs.The anticonvulsant properties of midazolam were studied in the late 1970s, but not until the 1990s did it emerge as an effective treatment for convulsive status epilepticus. As of 2010, it is the most commonly used benzodiazepine in anesthetic medicine. In acute medicine, midazolam has become more popular than other benzodiazepines, such as lorazepam and diazepam, because it is shorter lasting, is more potent, and causes less pain at the injection site.Midazolam is also becoming increasingly popular in veterinary medicine due to its water solubility.

Midazolam is a water-soluble benzodiazepine available as a sterile, nonpyrogenic parenteral dosage form for intravenous or intramuscular injection. Each mL contains midazolam hydrochloride equivalent to 1 mg or 5 mg midazolam compounded with 0.8% sodium chloride and 0.01% edetate disodium with 1% benzyl alcohol as preservative, and sodium hydroxide and/or hydrochloric acid for pH adjustment. pH 2.9-3.7.

Midazolam is a white to light yellow crystalline compound, insoluble in water. The hydrochloride salt of midazolam, which is formed in situ, is soluble in aqueous solutions. Chemically, midazolam HCl is 8-chloro-6-(2-fluorophenyl)-1-methyl-4H– imidazo[1,5-a] [1,4] benzodiazepine hydrochloride. Midazolam hydrochloride has the molecular formula C18H13ClFN3•HCl, a calculated molecular weight of 362.25 and the following structural formula:

Midazolam HCl structural formula illustration

In the Netherlands, midazolam is a List II drug of the Opium Law. Midazolam is a Schedule IV drug under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances. In the United Kingdom, midazolam is a Class C controlled drug. In the United States, midazolam (DEA number 2884) is on the Schedule IV list of the Controlled Substances Act as a non-narcotic agent with low potential for abuse.

midaolam hydrochloride NDA 018654, 075154


U.S. Pat. No. 4,280,957

U.S. Pat. No. 5,693,795

U.S. Pat. No. 6,512,114

Midazolam Maleate
Drugs Fut 1978, 3(11): 822

Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, 2012 ,  vol. 20,  18  pg. 5658 – 5667

Journal of Heterocyclic Chemistry, 1983 ,  vol. 20,  3  pg. 551 – 558.. 32 maleate

WO 2001070744

WO 2001002402

WO 2012075286

US2011/275799 A1… no 5

Journal of Organic Chemistry, 1978 ,  vol. 43, p. 936,942, mp free base, nmr

US4280957 May 15, 1978 Jul 28, 1981 Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. Imidazodiazepines and processes therefor
US6262260 * Mar 23, 2000 Jul 17, 2001 Abbott Laboratories Process for the preparation of midazolam
US6512114 Jun 30, 1999 Jan 28, 2003 Abbott Laboratories Process for the preparation of Midazolam



4H-imidazo[1,5-a][1,4]benzodiazepines or, more simply, imidazobenzodiazepines, are a class of benzodiazepines having the general formula (I),

wherein the 1,4-diazepine ring is fused with a 1,3-imidazole ring. The main compounds part of the 4H-imidazo[1,5-a][1,4]benzodiazepines are Midazolam of formula (IV):

an active ingredient currently commercially available as a hydrochloride salt under the name of Versed or Hypnovel for anaesthetic and sedative use and the maleate salt currently commercially available under the name Dormicum or Flormidal.
Other important compounds are Climazolam of formula (VII):

Imidazenil of formula (VIII):

1-Hydroxymidazolam of formula (IX):

and Desmethyl midazolam of formula (X):

all these being biologically active substances and having psychotropic and sedative action.
The synthesis of the Midazolam as described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,280,957 of Hoffmann-La Roche provides for the decarboxylation reaction of the 8-chloro-6-(2-fluorophenyl)-1-methyl-4H-imidazo[1,5-a][1,4]benzodiazepine-3-carboxylic acid of formula (VI) according to the following scheme:

The process for preparing the intermediate (VI) via basic hydrolysis of the corresponding ester is described in such patent publication and it is well known in the art.
The thermal decarboxylation reaction in high boiling solvent such as mineral oil at 230° C. for 5 min results in a mixture of products of Midazolam of formula (IV) and of Isomidazolam of formula (IV-bis), a non-pharmacologically active isomer, at a 80:20 ratio. The two products are separated by chromatography.
At industrial level, the formation of the Isomidazolam isomer impurity requires a further isomerisation reaction performed on the mixture of the two compounds to convert the isomer into the active product. The reaction mixture obtained from the thermal decarboxylation is thus subjected to basic treatment under the action of KOH in EtOH followed by an acid treatment which thus provides a mixture of Midazolam-Isomidazolam at a 95:5 ratio. The final removal of the Isomidazolam impurity from the product occurs through crystallisation of the product from AcOEt and EtOH. In order to limit this isomerisation treatment, in the subsequent U.S. Pat. No. 5,693,795 of Hoffmann-La Roche dated 1999, there is described a process for performing the decarboxylation of the compound of formula (VI) in n-butanol in a continuous tubular reactor with a 4 minutes permanence period with a yield between 47-77%. However, the reaction, performed at high temperature and pressure (280° C., 100 bars) results in the formation of a considerable percentage of Isomidazolam (85:15 Midazolam/Isomidazolam ratio) which still requires the basic isomerisation step.
Lastly, in U.S. Pat. No. 6,512,114 of Abbott Laboratories there is described the decarboxylation of the compound of formula (VI) in mineral oil or in N,N-Dimethylacetamide (DMA) at 160-230° C. for at least 3 hours obtaining a 3/1 to 6/1 Midazolam/Isomidazolam ratio with a yield of isolated product equal to just 54%.
Though performed using dedicated apparatus and in extreme conditions, the prior art processes do not allow selectively performing the decarboxylation reaction of the intermediate (VI) to Midazolam thus requiring a further synthetic passage followed by crystallisation with ensuing reduction of the overall yield.

Midazolam (8-chloro-6-(2-fluorophenyl)-1-methyl-4H-imidazo[1,5-a][1,4]benzodiazepine) is represented by the following structural formula (I):

Figure US07776852-20100817-C00001

Midazolam is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, used for short term treatment of insomnia. Like other benzodiazepines, midazolam binds to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain and spinal cord and is thus used as a short-acting hypnotic-sedative drug with anxiolytic and amnestic properties. It is currently used in dentistry, cardiac surgery, endoscopic procedures, as a preanesthetic medication, as an adjunct to local anesthesia and as a skeletal muscle relaxant. Depending on the pH value, midazolam can exist in solution as a closed ring form (I) as well as an open ring form (IA), which are in equilibrium, as shown in Scheme 1:

Figure US07776852-20100817-C00002

The amount of the open ring form (IA) is dependent upon the pH value of the solution. At a pH value of about 3, the content of the open ring form (IA) can be 40%, while at pH value of 7.5, the closed ring form (I) can be more than 90%.

Clinical studies have demonstrated that there are no significant differences in the clinical activity between midazolam hydrochloride and midazolam maleate, however the use of intravenous midazolam hydrochloride has been associated, in some cases, with respiratory depression and arrest.

U.S Pat. No. 4,280,957 (hereinafter the ‘957 patent) describes a synthetic process for preparing midazolam, which is depicted in Scheme 2 below. This process includes reacting 2-aminomethyl-7-chloro-2,3-dihydro-5-(2-fluorophenyl)-1H-1,4-bezodiazepine (II) with acetic anhydride in dichloromethane to produce 2-acetamido-methyl-7-chloro-2,3-dihydro-5-(2-fluorophenyl)-1H-1,4-bezodiazepine (III). The latter is heated with polyphosphoric acid at 150° C. to produce 8-chloro-6-(2-fluorophenyl)-3a,4-dihydro-1-methyl-4H-imidazo[1,5-a][1,4]benzodiazepine of formula (IV), which is purified by column chromatography. Compound IV is then mixed with toluene and manganese dioxide and heated to reflux to afford midazolam base, which is crystallized from ether to yield a product with mp of 152-154° C.

Figure US07776852-20100817-C00003

The ‘957 patent further describes an alternative process which includes reacting 2-aminomethyl-7-chloro-2,3-dihydro-5-(2-fluorophenyl)-1H-1,4-bezodiazepine (II) (optionally as a dimaleate salt) with triethylorthoacetate in ethanol and in the presence of p-toluenesulfonic acid to afford 8-chloro-6-(2-fluorophenyl)-3a,4-dihydro-1-methyl-4H-imidazo[1,5-a][1,4]benzodiazepine (IV). This product is dissolved in xylene and treated with activated manganese dioxide to afford the crude base, which is reacted in situ with maleic acid in ethanol and crystallized by addition of ether to produce the midazolam maleate having melting point of 148-151° C. The process is depicted in Scheme 3 below.

Figure US07776852-20100817-C00004

The preparation of midazolam maleate from the isolated midazolam base is also described in a further example of the ‘957 Patent, wherein a warm solution of midazolam base in ethanol is combined with a warm solution of maleic acid in ethanol. The mixture is diluted with ether and at least part of the solvents is evaporated using a steam bath to obtain crystalline midazolam maleate having melting point of 148-151° C. The yield and the purity of the obtained midazolam maleate are not disclosed.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,512,114 (hereinafter the ‘114 patent) describes another synthetic process for preparing midazolam, which is depicted in Scheme 4 below. According to this Process, the starting material 8-chloro-6-(2-fluorophenyl)-1-methyl-4H-imidazo[1,5-a][1,4]benzodiazepine-3-carboxylic acid (V) is heated in mineral oil for 3 hours at 230° C. until it is decarboxylated, followed by treatment with potassium tert-butoxide, to afford midazolm (I), isomidazolam (VI) and a midazolam dimmer (VII). Midazolam base is obtained in 54.5% yield after two re-crystallizations from ethyl acetate and heptane; however, the purity of the product is not disclosed.

Figure US07776852-20100817-C00005

The preparation of midazolam by conventional routes is liable to produce impurities such as isomidazolam (VI) and a midazolam dimmer (VII), and possibly other impurities. There is, therefore, a need in the art for a midazolam purification process that will provide highly pure midazolam containing minimal amounts of impurities produced. The present invention provides such a process.

This example describes the preparation of midazolam base as taught in the ‘957 patent.

16 g (0.03 mol) of 2-aminomethyl-7-chloro-5-(2-fluorophenyl)-2,3-dihydro-1H-1,4-bezodiazepine dimaleate was dissolved in 200 ml of toluene and 10 ml of 25% ammonium hydroxide solution was added and mixing was maintained for an hour. Then, the phases were separated and the toluene phase was dried by azeotropic distillation using a Dean Stark apparatus. 7 ml (0.038 mol) of triethylorthoacetate was added and the solution was heated to reflux for 4 hours, after which time the solution was left to cool to ambient temperature. 25 ml of methyl tert-butyl ether was added and the mixture was cooled overnight to produce 8-chloro-6-(2-fluorophenyl)-3a,4-dihydro-1-methyl-4H-imidazo[1,5-a][1,4]benzodiazepine, which was isolated by filtration. The product was mixed with 200 ml of toluene and dried by azeotropic distillation using a Dean Stark apparatus. Then, 30 g of manganese dioxide was added and the mixture was heated to reflux for two hours. The excess manganese dioxide was filtered off to afford a solution of midazolam base in toluene, which was evaporated to obtain a product having 97.9% purity and containing 0.44% of impurity VIII and 1.14% of impurity IX (according to HPLC).




2-Aminomethyl-7-chloro-2,3-dihydro-5-(2-fluorophenyl)-1H-1,4-benzodiazepine dimaleate

A suspension of 17 g (0.05 m) of 7-chloro-1,3-dihydro-5-(2-fluorophenyl)-2-nitromethylene-2H-1,4-benzodiazepine-4-oxide in 200 ml of tetrahydrofuran and 100 ml of methanol was hydrogenated in presence of 17 g of Raney nickel at an initial pressure of 155 psi for 24 hrs. The catalyst was removed by filtration and the filtrate was evaporated. The residue was dissolved in 50 ml of 2-propanol and warmed on the steambath. A warm solution of 17 g of maleic acid in 60 ml of ethanol was added and the salt was allowed to crystallize by cooling in the ice bath. The final product consisted of yellow crystals with mp 196



Acetic anhydride, 7 ml., was added to a solution of 6.16 g. of crude 2-aminomethyl-7-chloro-2,3-dihydro-5-(2-fluorophenyl)-1H-1,4-benzodiazepine in 200 ml. of methylene chloride. The solution was layered with 200 ml. of saturated aqueous sodium bicarbonate and the mixture was stirred for 20 minutes. The organic layer was separated, washed with sodium bicarbonate, dried over sodium sulfate and evaporated to leave 6.2 g. resinous 2-acetaminomethyl-7-chloro-2,3-dihydro-5-(2-fluorophenyl)-1H-1,4-benzodiazepine. This material was heated with 40 g. of polyphosphoric acid at 150 water, made alkaline with ammonia and ice and extracted with methylene chloride. The extracts were dried and evaporated and the residue (5.7 g.) was chromatographed over 120 g. of silica gel using 20% methanol in methylene chloride. The clean fractions were combined and evaporated to yield resinous 8-chloro-3a,4-dihydro-6-(2-fluorophenyl)-1-methyl-4H-imidazo[ 1,5-a][1,4]benzodiazepine. A mixture of this material with 500 ml. of toluene and 30 g. of manganese dioxide was heated to reflux for 11/2 hours. The manganese dioxide was separated by filtration over celite. The filtrate was evaporated and the residue was crystallized from ether to yield a product with m.p. 152 was recrystallized from methylene chloride/hexane



Potassium t-butoxide, 0.625 g. (5.5 mmol), was added to a solution of 1.625 g. (5 mmol) of 8-chloro-6-(2-fluorophenyl)-1-methyl-4H-imidazo[1,5-a][1,4]benzodiazepine in 20 ml. of dimethylformamide cooled to -30 nitrogen for 10 min. at -30 ml. of glacial acetic acid and was then partitioned between aqueous bicarbonate and toluene/methylene chloride (3:1 v/v). The organic layer was separated, dried and evaporated. The residue was chromatographed over 60 g. of silica gel using 25% (v/v) methylene chloride in ethyl acetate. The less polar product was eluted first and was crystallized from ethylacetate/hexane to yield product with m.p. 180



Potassium t-butoxide, 0.125 g. (1.1 mmol) was added to a solution of 0.325 g. (1 mmol) of 8-chloro-6-(2-fluorophenyl)-1-methyl-6H-imidazo[1,5-a][1,4]benzodiazepine in 20 ml. of dimethylformamide cooled to -30 -30 by addition of 0.2 ml. of glacial acetic acid and was partitioned between aqueous sodium bicarbonate and methylene chloridetoluene (1:3). The organic phase was washed with water, dried and evaporated. The residue was chromatographed over 20 g. of silica gel using ethyl acetate for elution. After elution of starting material, product was collected and crystallized from ether/hexane, m.p. 156

hyd and dihydrochloride


8-Chloro-6-(2-fluorophenyl)-1-methyl-4H-imidazo[1,5-a][1,4]benzodiazepine dihydrochloride

A solution of 0.32 g (1 mmol) of 8-chloro-6-(2-fluorophenyl)-1-methyl-4H-imidazo[1,5-a][1,4]benzodiazepine in 5 ml of ethanol was treated with excess ethanolic hydrogen chloride. The salt was crystallized by addition of 2-propanol and ether. The colorless crystals were collected, washed with ether and dried to leave a final product with mp 290

EXAMPLE 258-Chloro-6-(2-fluorophenyl)-1-methyl-4H-imidazo[1,5-a][1,4]benzodiazepine hydrochloride

A solution of 0.325 g (1 mmol) of 8-chloro-6-(2-fluorophenyl)-1-methyl-4H-imidazo[1,5-a][1,4]benzodiazepine in 3 ml of ethanol was combined with a suspension of 0.4 g (1 mmol) of the dihydrochloride of this compound in 5 ml of ethanol. After filtration, the solution was treated with ether and heated on the steambath for 5 min to crystallize. The crystals were collected, washed with ether and dried to leave the monohydrochloride with mp 295



8-Chloro-6-(2-fluorophenyl)-1-methyl-4H-imidazo[1,5-a][1,4]benzodiazepine maleate

A warm solution of 6.5 g (0.02 m) of 8-chloro-6-(2-fluorophenyl)-1-methyl-4H-imidazo[1,5-a][1,4]benzodiazepine in 30 ml of ethanol was combined with a warm solution of 2.6 g (0.022 m) of maleic acid in 20 ml of ethanol. The mixture was diluted with 150 ml of ether and heated on the steam bath for 3 min. After cooling, the crystals were collected, washed with ether and dried in vacuo to yield a final product with mp 148



Midazolam, can be described according to scheme 4 indicated below:

Materials and Methods
8-chloro-6-(2-fluorophenyl)-1-methyl-4H-imidazo[1,5-a][1,4]benzodiazepin-3-carboxylic acid of formula (VI)Figure US20110275799A1-20111110-C00029was prepared according to processes known in the art (e.g. U.S. Pat. No. 4,280,957) which comprise the basic hydrolysis of the corresponding ester.
For the reactions performed in the microreactor, the solutions containing the substrates to be decarboxylated were loaded into 5 and 10 mL gastight glass syringes (Hamilton, item n. 81527, 81627) mounted on syringe pumps (KD Scientifics, model KDS100). A pipe made of PTFE® (OD=1.58 mm, ID=0.8 mm, Supelco, item n. 58696-U) was used for making the reaction channel.A counterpressure valve sold by Swagelok (item n. SS-SS1-VH) was used for regulating the flow within the channel.Example 1Synthesis of the Compound of Formula (V)—Example of the Invention


50 g (0.135 mol) of 8-chloro-6-(2-fluorophenyl)-1-methyl-4H-imidazo[1,5-a][1,4]benzodiazepin-3-carboxylic acid of formula (VI) and 250 mL of ethanol were loaded into a two-neck 500 mL flask, equipped with a magnetic stirrer. 40 mL of an aqueous solution of 1 M HCl are dripped in about 10 minutes. The open di-hydrochloride intermediate of formula (V) starts precipitating into the reaction environment already after 3 minutes from the beginning of the addition of the acid solution. The mixture is maintained stirred at RT for 3 hrs and then it is filtered on buckner washing the solid with ethanol. The moist product is dried in an oven under vacuum at 60° C. up to reaching a constant weight. A light yellow crystalline product is obtained (51.5 g, 83% yield). The crude product was used for the decarboxylation without further purifications.

ESI-MS [MeCN+0.1% HCOOH]: m/z 388 (V); 370 (VI).

1H-NMR (250 MHz, CD3OD): 2.52 (s, 3H); 4.27-4.41 (m, 2H); 7.22-8.1 (m, 7H). M.p.: 217° C.

Example 2

Synthesis of Midazolam of Formula (IV)—Performed in Batch—Example of the Invention

30 g (0.065 mol) of 5-(aminomethyl)-1-{(4-chloro-2-[(2-fluorophenyl)carbonyl]phenyl}-2-methyl-1H-imidazole-4-carboxylic acid dihydrochloride of formula (V) and 90 mL of NMP are loaded into a three-neck 250 mL flask, equipped with a magnetic stirrer and coolant. The mass is heated using an oil bath at T=195-203° C. for one hour. Thus, 1 mL of solution is collected for performing HPLC analysis. The reaction product is Midazolam having 82% titre (w/w) (determined via HPLC titre correcting it using the solvent) and it contains 1% of Isomidazolam. The product is extracted using Isopropyl acetate after raising the pH to 10 by adding aqueous Na2CO3.

Example 3

Synthesis of Midazolam of Formula (IV)—Performed in a Micro-Reactor—Example of the Invention

3.22 g (7 mmol) of 5-(aminomethyl)-1-{4-chloro-2-[(2-fluorophenyl)carbonyl]phenyl}-2-methyl-1H-imidazole-4-carboxylic acid dihydrochloride of formula (V) and 10 mL of NMP are loaded into a 10 mL flask equipped with a magnetic stirrer. In order to facilitate the complete solubilisation of the substrate, it is necessary to slightly heat the reaction mixture (about 40° C.) for a few minutes. The solution thus obtained is transferred into a 10 mL gastight glass syringe mounted on a KDS100 syringe pump (FIG. 1) and the flow is regulated at 1.0 mL/h so as to set a residence period of 30 minutes at 200° C. The reaction product is Midazolam having an 89% titre (w/w) (determined via HPLC titre correcting it using the solvent) and containing 3% (w/w) of Isomidazolam.

Example 4Synthesis of Midazolam of formula (IV)—Comparison of the InventionA table is reported which summarises the results of the decarboxylation of the compound of formula (V) and (V-bis) (for the latter see Examples 6 and 7) obtained according to some embodiments of the invention and those obtained by way of experiment through the decarboxylation of the intermediate of formula (VI) (process of the prior art) both performed in 3 volumes of NMP at 200° C., both in batch method (Example 4) and in continuous method with the microreactor (MR) made of PTFE of FIG. 1. (Examples 4-1, 4-2, 4-3).

Example substrate Mode Solv. T° C. t min. Midazolam (p/p) Isomidaz. (P/P)
2 (V) Batch NMP 200 60 82 1
3 (V) MR NMP 200 30 89 3
7 (V-bis) Batch NMP 200 60 68 3
4 (VI) Batch NMP 200 60 78 18
4-1 (VI) MR NMP 200 38 81 17
4-2 (VI) MR NMP 200 20 77 18
4-3 (VI) MR NMP 200 15 58 22
U.S. Pat. No. (VI) Tubular n-BuOH 290 4 85 * 15 *
5,693,795   reactor          
U.S. Pat. No. (VI) Batch Olio 230 180 75 * 25 *
6,512,114     min.     87.5 * 12.5 *
      or DMA        
* = Midazolam/Isomidazolam ratio only (other impurities not considered).

The product of the comparative experiments 4, 4-1, 4-2, 4-3 and of the two USA patents should be subjected to a further isomerisation process to reduce the high amount of Isomidazolam so as to be able to obtain Midazolam free of Isomidazolam after further crystallization, which would not be required for the product obtained according to the invention (examples 2 and 3).

Midazolam maleate, dihydrochloride  and monohydrochloride
Example 8
Preparation of 8-Chloro-6-(2-fluorophenyl)-1-methyl-4H-imidazo[1,5-a][1,4]benzodiazepine maleate (Midazolam Maleate)


A 4-neck RBF was charged under nitrogen flow with: 10 g of Midazolam (IV) (prepared according to example 2) and 40 mL of Ethanol. The slurry was stirred until complete dissolution at 25/30° C. In an other flask was prepared the following solution: 3.72 g of maleic acid are dissolved in 15 mL of Ethanol. The slurry was stirred until complete dissolution at 25/30° C. The maleic acid solution is dropped in 30/40 minutes and keeping T=25/30° C. into the solution containing Midazolam. The slurry was cooled down at −15° C. in one hour and kept at that temperature for at least 2 hours. The slurry was then filtered and the cake was washed with 40 mL of cool Ethanol. The filter was discharged and the product was dried at 40° C. under vacuum for 2 hours and then at 60° C. for 8 hours. 12.8 g of Midazolam Maleate as white solid were collected (Molar yield=94.5%). m.p.=149-152° C. (by DSC).

Example 9
Preparation of 8-Chloro-6-(2-fluorophenyl)-1-methyl-4H-imidazo[1,5-a][1,4]benzodiazepine dihydrochloride (Midazolam dihydrochloride)


A 4-neck RBF was charged under nitrogen flow with: 1 g of Midazolam (IV) (prepared according to example 2) and 15 mL of Ethanol. The slurry was stirred until complete dissolution at 25/30° C. 5 mL of a ethanolic solution of Hydrochloric acid 2N were slowly added. 20 mL of Isopropanol were added over 30 minutes at RT. The slurry was cooled down at −15° C. in one hour and kept at that temperature for at least 2 hours. The slurry was then filtered and the cake was washed with 10 mL of cool isopropanol. The filter was discharged and the product was dried at 40° C. under vacuum for 2 hours and then at 60° C. for 8 hours. Midazolam dihydrochloride as white solid was collected.


Example 10

Preparation of 8-Chloro-6-(2-fluorophenyl)-1-methyl-4H-imidazo[1,5-a][1,4]benzodiazepine hydrochloride (Midazolam hydrochloride)

A 4-neck RBF was charged under nitrogen flow with: 1 g of Midazolam (IV) (prepared according to example 2) and 10 mL of Ethanol. The slurry was stirred until complete dissolution at 25/30° C. In an other flask was prepared the following suspension: 1.22 g of Midazolam dihydrochloride (prepared according to example 9) and 15 mL of Ethanol. The Midazolam ethanolic solution was added to the Midazolam dihydrochloride suspension. After filtration, the solution was treated with MTBE and heated at 60° C. until crystallization. After cooling to RT, the slurry was filtered, the cake washed with MTBE and the product was dried to provide Midazolam (mono)hydrochloride as a white solid.


Midazolam is prepared from 2-amino-5-chloro-2’-fluoro benzophenone, which undergoes cyclization with ethyl ester of glycine in presence of pyridine to form benzodiazepinone. Amide is converted to thioamide (which is much reactive) by treatment with phosphorouspentasulphide. Reaction of the thioamide with methylamine proceeds to give the amidine; this compound is transformed into a good leaving group by conversion to the N-nitroso derivative by treatment with nitrous acid. Condensation of this intermediate with the carbanion from nitro methane leads to displacement of N-nitroso group by methyl nitro derivative; the double bond shifts into conjugation with the nitro group to afford nitro vinyl derivative. Reduction with Raney nickel followed by reaction with methyl orthoacetate leads to fused imidazoline ring. Dehydrogenation with manganese dioxide converts it into an imidazole to give midazolam.
Uses: Midazolam has been used adjunctively with gaseous anaesthetics. The onset of its CNS effects is slower than that of thiopental, and it has a longer duration of action. Cases of severe post-operative respiratory depression have occurred.






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