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A Single-Pot Synthesis of Atovaquone: An Antiparasitic Drug of Choice

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journal contribution
posted on 16.05.2014, 00:00 by Suneel Y. Dike, Dharmendra Singh, Byju N. Thankachen, Brajesh Sharma, Pramil K. Mathur, Swapnil Kore, Ashok Kumar
The present article relates to a practical, economically viable, and validated at industrial scale, single-pot synthetic route for preparation of atovaquone, one of the most versatile antiparasitic drugs of choice used for the prophylaxis and treatment of diseases such as pneumocystis, toxoplasmosis, babesiosis, coccidiosis, and malaria. However, owing to the extremely poor yields of synthesis and very high doses of treatment (due to poor bioavailability) the cost of treatment with this drug is not affordable by the patients in need, particularly in the third world countries where these diseases are most prevalent. Unlike most of the reported processes which use 2-chloronaphthoquinone and pure trans-4-chlorophenyl cyclohexane carboxylic acid, our process is based on the decarboxylative alkylation of isomeric mixture of 4-chlorophenyl cyclohexane carboxylic acid with 1,4-naphthoquinone to give 42% overall yield of atovaquone, 10 times higher than from the reported process (4%) from the innovators of this drug.

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