Multi-catalytic route for the synthesis of (S)-tembamide

Laura Leemans, Marc D. Walter, Frank Hollmann, Anett Schallmey, Luuk M. Van Langen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Enantiopure β-amino alcohols constitute one of the most significant building blocks for the synthesis of active pharmaceutical ingredients. Despite the availability of a range of chiral β-amino alcohols from a chiral pool, there is a growing demand for new enantioselective synthetic routes to vicinal amino alcohols and their derivatives. In the present study, an asymmetric 2-step catalytic route that converts 4-anisaldehyde into a β-amino alcohol derivative, (S)-tembamide, with excellent enantiopurity (98% enantiomeric excess) has been developed. The recently published initial step consists in a concurrent biocatalytic cascade for the synthesis of (S)-4-methoxymandelonitrile benzoate. The O-benzoyl cyanohydrin is then converted to (S)-tembamide in a hydrogenation reaction catalyzed by Raney Ni. To achieve hydrogenation of the nitrile moiety with highest chemoselectivity and enantioretention, various parameters such as nature of the catalyst, reaction temperature and hydrogen pressure were studied. The reported strategy might be transferrable to the synthesis of other N-acyl-β-amino alcohols.

Original languageEnglish
Article number822
Number of pages17
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Catalytic hydrogenation
  • Chemoenzymatic cascade
  • Enantioselectivity
  • Hydrocyanation
  • Hydroxynitrile lyase
  • Lipase
  • Nitrile reduction
  • Raney ni
  • Tembamide
  • Transesterification


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