Complex Polycyclic Scaffolds by Metathesis Rearrangement of Himbert Arene/Allene Cycloadducts

The intramolecular arene/allene cycloaddition first described 30 years ago by Himbert and Henn permits rapid access to strained polycyclic compounds. Alkene metathesis processes cleanly rearrange appropriately substituted cycloadducts into complex, functional-group-rich polycyclic lactams of potential utility for natural product synthesis and medicinal chemistry.