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DR ANTHONY MELVIN CRASTO, Born in Mumbai in 1964 and graduated from Mumbai University, Completed his Ph.D from ICT, 1991,Matunga, Mumbai, India, in Organic Chemistry, The thesis topic was Synthesis of Novel Pyrethroid Analogues, Currently he is working with GLENMARK PHARMACEUTICALS LTD, Research Centre as Principal Scientist, Process Research (bulk actives) at Mahape, Navi Mumbai, India. Total Industry exp 30 plus yrs, Prior to joining Glenmark, he has worked with major multinationals like Hoechst Marion Roussel, now Sanofi, Searle India Ltd, now RPG lifesciences, etc. He has worked with notable scientists like Dr K Nagarajan, Dr Ralph Stapel, Prof S Seshadri, Dr T.V. Radhakrishnan and Dr B. K. Kulkarni, etc, He did custom synthesis for major multinationals in his career like BASF, Novartis, Sanofi, etc., He has worked in Discovery, Natural products, Bulk drugs, Generics, Intermediates, Fine chemicals, Neutraceuticals, GMP, Scaleups, etc, he is now helping millions, has 9 million plus hits on Google on all Organic chemistry websites. His friends call him Open superstar worlddrugtracker. His New Drug Approvals, Green Chemistry International, All about drugs, Eurekamoments, Organic spectroscopy international, etc in organic chemistry are some most read blogs He has hands on experience in initiation and developing novel routes for drug molecules and implementation them on commercial scale over a 30 year tenure till date Dec 2017, Around 35 plus products in his career. He has good knowledge of IPM, GMP, Regulatory aspects, he has several International patents published worldwide . He has good proficiency in Technology transfer, Spectroscopy, Stereochemistry, Synthesis, Polymorphism etc., He suffered a paralytic stroke/ Acute Transverse mylitis in Dec 2007 and is 90 %Paralysed, He is bound to a wheelchair, this seems to have injected feul in him to help chemists all around the world, he is more active than before and is pushing boundaries, He has 9 million plus hits on Google, 2.5 lakh plus connections on all networking sites, 50 Lakh plus views on dozen plus blogs, He makes himself available to all, contact him on +91 9323115463, email, Twitter, @amcrasto , He lives and will die for his family, 90% paralysis cannot kill his soul., Notably he has 19 lakh plus views on New Drug Approvals Blog in 216 countries...... , He appreciates the help he gets from one and all, Friends, Family, Glenmark, Readers, Wellwishers, Doctors, Drug authorities, His Contacts, Physiotherapist, etc

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The greening of peptide synthesis


The greening of peptide synthesis


The synthesis of peptides by amide bond formation between suitably protected amino acids is a fundamental part of the drug discovery process. However, the required coupling and deprotection reactions are routinely carried out in dichloromethane and DMF, both of which have serious toxicity concerns and generate waste solvent which constitutes the vast majority of the waste generated during peptide synthesis. In this work, propylene carbonate has been shown to be a green polar aprotic solvent which can be used to replace dichloromethane and DMF in both solution- and solid-phase peptide synthesis. Solution-phase chemistry was carried out with Boc/benzyl protecting groups to the tetrapeptide stage, no epimerisation occurred during these syntheses and chemical yields for both coupling and deprotection reactions in propylene carbonate were at least comparable to those obtained in conventional solvents. Solid-phase peptide synthesis was carried out using Fmoc protected amino acids on a ChemMatrix resin and was used to prepare the biologically relevant nonapeptide bradykinin with comparable purity to a sample prepared in DMF.

Graphical abstract: The greening of peptide synthesis
Boc-Ala-Phe-OBn 5a    ref S1
Boc-Ala-OH (324 mg, 1.71 mmol) and HCl.H-Phe-OBn (500 mg, 1.71 mmol) were coupled according to the general coupling procedure. The residue was purified using flash column chromatography (35:65, EtOAc:PE) to give Boc-Ala-Phe-OBn 5a as a white crystalline solid (682 mg, 93%). RF = 0.34 (40:60, EtOAc:PE);
mp 95.6-96.3 °C;
[α]D 23 -27.7 (c 1.0 in MeOH);
IR (Neat) νmax 3347 (m), 3063 (w), 3029 (w), 2928 (m), 2852 (w), 1735 (w), 1684 (w) 1666 (w) and 1521 (s) cm-1;
1H NMR (400 MHz, CDCl3): δ = 7.36-7.31 (m, 3H, ArH), 7.29-7.24 (m, 2H, ArH), 7.26-7.21 (m, 3H, ArH), 7.04-6.97 (m, 2H, ArH), 6.72 (d J 7.7 Hz, 1H, Phe-NH), 5.16-5.10 (m, 1H, Ala-NH), 5.13 (d J 12.1 Hz, 1H, OCH2Ph), 5.07 (d J 12.1 Hz, 1H, OCH2Ph), 4.88 (dt, J 7.7, 5.9 1H, PheNCH), 4.11 (br, 1H, Ala-NCH), 3.13 (dd J 13.9, 6.1 Hz, 1H, CH2Ph), 3.08 (dd J 13.9, 6.1 Hz, 1H, CH2Ph), 1.41 (s, 9H, C(CH3)3), 1.29 (d J 6.6 Hz, 3H, CH3);
13C NMR (100 MHz, CDCl3): δ = 172.3 (C=O), 171.2 (C=O), 155.6 (NC=O), 135.7 (ArC), 135.1 (ArC), 129.5 (ArCH), 128.7 (ArCH), 128.6 (ArCH), 127.2 (ArCH), 80.2 (CMe3), 67.4 (OCH2Ph), 53.3 (Phe-NCH), 50.3 (Ala-NCH), 38.0 (CH2Ph), 28.4 (C(CH3)3), 18.5 (CH3);
MS (ESI) m/z 449 [(M+Na)+ , 100]; HRMS (ESI) m/z calculated for C24H30N2O5Na 449.2048 (M+Na)+ , found 449.2047 (0.6 ppm error).
S1 J. Nam, D. Shin, Y. Rew and D. L. Boger, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2007, 129, 8747–8755; Q. Wang, Y. Wang and M. Kurosu, Org. Lett., 2012, 14, 3372–3375.
General procedure for peptide coupling reactions in PC To a suspension of an N-Boc-amino acid (1.0 eq.) and an amino acid or peptide benzyl ester (1.0 eq.) in PC (5 mL mmol-1), at 0 °C, was added a solution of HOBt (1.1 eq.) and i Pr2EtN (3.0 eq.) in a minimal quantity of PC. EDC (1.1 eq.) was added dropwise and the reaction mixture was allowed to stir at room temperature for 16h. The reaction mixture was then diluted using EtOAc (50 mL) and washed with 1M HClaq (3 × 25 mL), saturated Na2CO3 (3 × 25 mL) and H2O (3 × 25 mL). The organic layer was dried (MgSO4 ), filtered and concentrated in vacuo. Any residual PC was removed via short path distillation. Purification details for each peptide and characterising data are given in the supplementary information. General procedure for Boc deprotections in PC An N-Boc-peptide benzyl ester (1.0 eq.) was dissolved in a minimum amount of PC and trifluoroacetic acid (60 eq.) was added. The reaction mixture was allowed to stir for 3h. at room temperature before being concentrated in vacuo. Any residual PC was removed via short path distillation. Characterising data for each deprotected peptide are given in the supplementary information.
Procedure for Boc deprotection of dipeptide 5a using HCl in PC Boc-Ala-Phe-OBn 5a (50 mg, 0.117 mmol) was dissolved in PC (2.34 mL). MeOH (0.40 mL, 9.8 mmol) was added and the solution cooled to 0 o C. Acetyl chloride (0.67 mL, 9.36 mmol) was added dropwise and the solution allowed to stir at room temperature for 2h. Then, PC was removed by short path distillation. The residue was suspended in Et2O and stirred for 5 minutes before being filtered to give HCl.Ala-Ph-OBn as a white solid (32.4 mg, 76%).
Propylene carbonate 1 has been shown to be a green replacement for reprotoxic amide based solvents which are widely used in peptide synthesis. Both solution- and solidphase peptide synthesis can be carried out in propylene carbonate using acid and base labile amine protecting groups respectively. No significant racemisation of the activated amino acids occurs in propylene carbonate and the viability of solid-phase peptide synthesis in propylene carbonate was demonstrated by the synthesis of the nonapeptide bradykinin.

GREEN CHEMISTRY…Reduction of amides without hydride reagents

Clostridium sporogenes


Essentially all medicines and current drug candidates contain at least one basic nitrogen atom. A common approach to the synthesis of amines is to reduce the corresponding amide with a hydride reagent such as LiAlH4, DIBAL, RedAl, B2H6, Et3SiH, or polymethylhydroxysilane (PMHS).

The reaction survey reported that reduction of amides to amines was used in only 0.6% of chemical transformations; this number would surely be higher if safer methods for use on scale were available. The survey indicated that the number of amide reductions was equally split between diborane and hydride reagents.

Lithium aluminium hydride,

Wireframe model of lithium aluminium hydride


having a molecular weight of 38 and four hydrides per molecule, has the highest hydride density and is frequently used, even though it co-generates an inorganic by-product (lithium aluminum hydroxide) which is difficult to separate from the product. The workup procedure recommended by one bulk supplier (Chemetall) is to precipitate and filter the aluminum hydroxide salts. However, slow filtrations and product loss through occlusion or adsorption are typical problems that can be encountered.

Options for disposal of the cake include dissolving in water and sending to a waste water treatment plant or drying the cake and sending to a chemical waste dump that accepts solids.1  Both options have an environmental impact. Therefore, a generally applicable, safe, environmentally benign and economically viable method for the reduction of amides to amines would have an appreciable benefit to numerous processes.

Hydrogen gas is the ideal reductant because the only by-product is water. Thus, much research has been directed towards discovery of a transition metal catalyst selective for hydrogenation of amides. However, even with the best catalysts, both high temperature ([similar]150 °C) and pressure (>100 bar) are required. These conditions involve expensive high pressure hydrogenation equipment not typically available in a common pharmaceutical manufacturing plant.

The harsh conditions also preclude the use of these catalysts with substrates that contain other reducible or thermally labile functional groups. Recent research has led to the discovery of catalysts that are effective at lower temperature and pressure, giving encouragement that the goal of finding a selective, low pressure/temperature catalyst is realistic.2

Another approach would be to use a biotransformation to reduce the amide. It is notable that a number of bacteria and fungi reduce carboxylic acids to aldehydes or ketones.3  The usual fate of amides in biological pathways is hydrolysis. However, an anaerobic bacteria, Clostridium sporogenes, has been reported to reduce benzamide to benzylamine. 4 

A key challenge in this technology area is gaining a detailed understanding of these complex enzyme-catalysed processes that require ATP/NADPH co-factor recycling, and getting the enzymes cloned and produced on a large scale in suitable expression systems.

The acylation/reduction strategy for N-alkylation avoids the need to handle alkylating agents and would be more widely used if a safer, more atom economical or preferably catalytic method for amide reduction were developed. The solution to this problem could be either chemical or biochemical.

  1. Chemetall brochures, Lithium Aluminum Hydride… strong, concentrated and economical, Oct. 2000, pp. 18–19 Search PubMed  .
  2. A. A. Smith, P. Dani, P. D. Higginson and A. J. Pettman, World Pat., WO2005/066112 A1, 2005 Search PubMed  .
  3. (aA. Hage, H. E. Schoemaker and J. A. Field, Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol., 1999, 52, 834–838 CrossRef  CAS  Search PubMed  ; (bA. He, T. Li, L. Daniels, I. Fotheringham and J. P. N. Rosazza, Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 2004, 70, 1874–1881 CrossRef  CAS  Search PubMed  .
  4. O. Dipeolu, J. Gardiner and G. Stephens, Biotechnol. Lett., 2005, 27, 1803–1807 CrossRef  CAS  Search PubMed  .

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