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Directing traffic - controlling the course of ring forming reactions: Applications in target synthesis

Final Activity Report Summary - DIRECTING (Directing traffic - controlling the course of ring forming reactions: Applications in target synthesis)

Cyclic structural motifs are present in many of the most potent natural biological molecules in addition to various man-made pharmaceutical and agrochemical agents. In fact, cyclic organic molecules have an important role to play in all areas of academic and industrial chemistry. The development of new methods for the construction of cyclic organic molecules is understandably a key area of science.

In this organic synthesis project, we developed new, ‘directed’ cycle-forming or cyclisation, processes that allowed for a range of molecular architectures to be built with excellent control of shape, or stereocontrol. These reactions proceeded using a single reagent with various additives. Crucially, the choice of additive used in a reaction controlled what product was formed. Thus, the additive ‘directed’ the cyclisation reactions. For example, we developed reactions that made unusual cyclic compounds containing a nitrogen atom, nitrogen heterocycles, and showed the products to be of utility in the preparation of medicines. We also used a new ‘directed’ cyclisation reaction to build a biologically active naturally-occurring compound. A flexible route to this compound would allow for the preparation of potential therapeutics that were inspired by its structure. These new compounds would be valuable tools for biology and medicine and would assist the fight against disease and illness.