Navigation Links
BC catalyst discovery promises faster, cheaper drug production

Boston College chemists have discovered a substance that will make it possible for scientists to produce scores of pharmaceuticals and other chemicals in a faster, less expensive way.

In a letter published in the Sept. 7 issue of the journal Nature, a team led by professors Amir Hoveyda and Marc Snapper of the Boston College Chemistry Department said they had found a first-of-its-kind catalyst that will eliminate several costly and wasteful steps from the process of synthesizing certain molecules.

"Our new catalyst will significantly improve the efficiency with which biologically and medicinally active molecules can be prepared," said Prof. Hoveyda, who is also chair of the department. "Such a catalyst, by shortening synthesis routes, will significantly lower cost and reduce the waste generated in laboratory syntheses."

The discovery is based on the concept of chirality, which refers to the two-handed nature of certain molecules. Many important chemical compounds that exist in nature or are created by laboratory scientists come in two, mirror-image forms ?a "left" and a "right" hand. Some drugs comprise chiral molecules, which can pose a problem: often, one hand, or enantiomer, of the drug molecule can be beneficial to a patient's health, while the other may be harmful.

Because of this, it is important for anyone who wants to prepare drugs, especially in large quantities, to be able to synthesize single-handed compounds with high selectivity; ideally, none of the opposite hand should be around. This way, the unfavorable properties of one enantiomer are eliminated without diluting the desired enantiomer's benefits.

What the Hoveyda-Snapper team discovered can be referred to as a "silylation catalyst" ?a molecule that attaches, with extremely high selectivity, a silicon atom to an alcohol group so that only one enantiomer is formed. Other molecules are known to promote this important reaction, but the new catalyst is the first t o control the handedness of the process at the same time.

"What makes this discovery enormously significant is that silyation is already one of the most useful ways ?if not the most effective way ?to protect an alcohol from undesired reactions while a molecule is being modified somewhere else," Prof. Snapper said.

Because of the new catalyst, what used to take four to five steps to accomplish ?each step adding significantly to the final cost ?can now be achieved in a single transformation. The substance also contains no metals and is therefore more environmentally friendly than many other catalysts.

"The new catalyst is easy to prepare, requires little or no solvent and therefore minimizes waste, and can be used in air and can be recycled several times," Prof. Snapper added. "Together, these properties make our discovery an important one both from the theoretical as well as the practical point of view."

"This is an elegant solution to a very important, practical problem, with the potential to result in more efficient, more environmentally friendly, and less expensive processes for manufacturing drugs. It's a great example of how NIH support for fundamental chemical research can benefit the American health care consumer," said John M. Schwab, a chemist at the National Institute of General Medical Science,which supported the work.


'"/>

Source:Boston College


Related biology news :

1. Green catalyst destroys pesticides and munitions toxins, finds Carnegie Mellon University
2. Protein discovery could unlock the secret to better TB treatment
3. Purdue proves concept of using nano-materials for drug discovery
4. UCSD discovery may help extend life of natural pesticide
5. Leprosy microbes lead scientists to immune discovery
6. Biochemists report discovery of structure of major piece of telomerase; implications for cancer
7. Researchers make surprise discovery that some neurons can transmit three signals at once
8. Important discovery about second most fatal cancer
9. Harmless virus may hold key to more effective HIV drug discovery
10. Fundamental discovery -- Bone fracture
11. Genetic discovery could lead to drought-resistant plants
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/15/2016)... , April 15, 2016  A new partnership ... more accurate underwriting decisions in a fraction of ... competitively priced and high-value life insurance policies to ... With Force Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, ... data readings (blood pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, and ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... CHICAGO , April 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians ... are setting a new clinical standard in telehealth ... By leveraging the higi platform, IMPOWER patients can ... weight, pulse and body mass index, and, when they ... quick and convenient visit to a local retail location ...
(Date:3/29/2016)... , March 29, 2016 ... "Company") LegacyXChange "LEGX" and SelectaDNA/CSI Protect are pleased to ... ink used in a variety of writing instruments, ensuring ... of originally created collectibles from athletes on LegacyXChange will ... analysis of the DNA. Bill Bollander ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Researchers at the Universita ... miRNAs in people with peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of ... now. , Diagnostic biomarkers are signposts in the blood, lung fluid or tissue ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical , an ... designed to target cancer stemness pathways, announced that ... Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and ... cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin is ... inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital ... Sports Association to serve as their official health ... Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, athletic training ... association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... Sports Association and to bring Houston Methodist quality ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition that asks ... systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams at the ... York City . The teams, chosen ... MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong summit. Keynote ... of architecture and design, and Suzanne Lee , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: