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Practical Synthesis of Chiral 2-Morpholine: (4-Benzylmorpholin-2-(S)-yl)-(tetrahydropyran-4-yl)methanone Mesylate, a Useful Pharmaceutical Intermediate

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posted on 20.03.2009, 00:00 by Michael E. Kopach, Utpal K. Singh, Michael E. Kobierski, William G. Trankle, Michael M. Murray, Mark A. Pietz, Mindy B. Forst, Gregory A. Stephenson, Vincent Mancuso, Thierry Giard, Michel Vanmarsenille, Thierry DeFrance
A commercial synthesis was developed for the production of (4-benzylmorpholin-2-(S)-yl)-(tetrahydropyran-4-yl)methanone mesylate, 1a, a key starting material for a phase 2, new investigational drug candidate at Eli Lilly and Company. The target compound was produced in the clinical pilot plant by the combination of two key steps: resolution of a morpholine amide intermediate to install the S-morpholino stereocenter in 35% yield and a high-yielding (89%) Grignard reaction to generate the title compound 1a, isolated as a mesylate salt. The Grignard reaction was found to proceed optimally when using a combination of I2 and DIBAL-H for the initiation. In addition, the Grignard reagent formation was monitored by ReactMax calorimetry, and proof-of-concept studies were completed, demonstrating that the Grignard step could potentially be run as a continuous process with magnesium recycling.