Catalytic, Asymmetric, “Interrupted” Feist−Bénary Reactions

Pyrimidine derivatives of the cinchona alkaloids function as excellent asymmetric catalysts for the “Interrupted” Feist−Bénary Reaction. This reaction produces highly substituted hydroxydihydrofurans from simple starting materials under mild conditions. The asymmetric reaction gives high enantioselectivities with unsubstituted bromoketones, and high enantio- and diastereoselectivities with substituted substrates. Mechanistic experiments suggest that the hydrobromide salt of the alkaloid derivative is the active catalyst for the reaction.