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Open Access The Synthetic Development of the Anti-Influenza Neuraminidase Inhibitor Oseltamivir Phosphate (Tamiflu®): A Challenge for Synthesis & Process Research

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The evolution of the synthesis of oseltamivir phosphate (Tamiflu®), used for the oral treatment and prevention of influenza virus infections (viral flu) is described. Oseltamivir phosphate is the ethyl ester prodrug of the corresponding acid, a potent and selective inhibitor of influenza neuraminidase. The discovery chemistry route and scalable routes used for kilo laboratory production as well as the technical access to oseltamivir phosphate from (–)-shikimic acid proceeding via a synthetically well-developed epoxide building block followed by azide transformations are reviewed. Synthesis and process research investigations towards azide-free conversions of the key epoxide building block to oseltamivir phosphate are discussed. The search for new routes to oseltamivir phosphate independent of shikimic acid including Diels-Alder approaches and transformations of aromatic rings employing a desymmetrization concept are presented in view of large-scale production requirements.

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Keywords: BIOTECHNOLOGY; INFLUENZA NEURAMINIDASE INHIBITOR; PROCESS RESEARCH; SYNTHESIS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 September 2004

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  • International Journal for Chemistry and Official Membership Journal of the Swiss Chemical Society (SCS) and its Divisions

    CHIMIA, a scientific journal for chemistry in the broadest sense, is published 10 times a year and covers the interests of a wide and diverse readership. Contributions from all fields of chemistry and related areas are considered for publication in the form of Review Articles and Notes. A characteristic feature of CHIMIA are the thematic issues, each devoted to an area of great current significance.

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