Nickel-Catalyzed Alkylation of Amide Derivatives

We report the catalytic alkylation of amide derivatives, which relies on the use of nonprecious metal catalysis. Amide derivatives are treated with organozinc reagents, utilizing nickel catalysis, to yield ketone products. The methodology is performed at ambient temperature and is tolerant of variation in both coupling partners. A precursor to a nanomolar glucagon receptor modulator was synthesized using the methodology, underscoring the mild nature of this chemistry and its potential utility in pharmaceutical synthesis. These studies are expected to further promote the use of amides as synthetic building blocks.