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Diversity Oriented Synthesis and Branching Reaction Pathway to Generate Natural Product-like Compounds

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Combinatorial chemistry can be used to synthesize diversified molecules on a large scale. As with all large-scale experiments, this process requires a major investment in equipment, consumables and time. Therefore, careful design is critical. As the complexity of the libraries to be generated increases, additional considerations become important. What are the issues that should be considered when planning combinatorial chemistry projects? Which features in the design strategy are critical to consider ensuring that all of the potential products will be synthesized? How are the reactants selected to optimize product synthesis and yield? Over the last several years, through an experimental process, we have successfully developed and optimized our synthetic strategy. Our approach incorporates a number of critical components into a tightly controlled process that generates molecules with maximal structural complexity. This complexity emanates from carbon-carbon bond formation, which is extremely stable and it is reminiscent of complex natural product molecules. Our studies have illustrated that transition metal catalysts are powerful reagents that can be used to drive the synthesis of diverse small molecules from less complex starting materials. In this review, we will describe some of our recent efforts to synthesize natural product-like molecules and their derivative structures to successfully create libraries of complex molecules for drug discovery applications. Our diversityoriented synthesis methods incorporate transition metal catalysts, as a versatile tool for creating carboncarbon bonds and structural complexity, and the branched reaction pathway, as a method for incorporating diversity into the molecular scaffolds. We will review our combinatorial chemistry program, focusing on the decisions that we made for (1) the scaffold selection; (2) the design of a diversity oriented approach for library synthesis; (3) the incorporation of the branched reaction pathway to generate natural product-like molecules from the same starting material; and (4) the process steps that we selected for chemistry development and library generation.

Keywords: branching reaction pathway; combinatorial chemistry; diversity oriented synthesis; natural product-like compounds

Document Type: Review Article


Affiliations: VivoQuest, Inc., 711 Executive Boulevard, Valley Cottage, NY 10989, USA.

Publication date: 2003-11-01

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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