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Scientists Use New Synthesis Method for Drug Discovery

After helping create a new approach for organic synthesis—carbon-hydrogen functionalization—scientists at Emory University are now displaying how this strategy may apply to drug discovery.

Scientists Use New Synthesis Method for Drug Discovery

Nature Catalysis revealed their most recent work—a streamlined process for making a three-dimensional scaffold of eager interest to the pharmaceutical trade.

Davies is the founder of the National Science Foundation’s Center for Selective C-H Functionalization, a consortium located at Emory and encompassing 15 main research universities from throughout the nation in addition to industrial partners.

Historically, organic chemistry has centered on the division between reactive molecular bonds and the inert bonds between carbon-carbon and carbon-hydrogen.

The inert bonds present a robust, stable scaffold for performing chemical synthesis with the reactive teams. C-H functionalization turns this model on its head, making C-H bonds become the responsive sites.

The goal is to efficiently remodel simple, plentiful molecules into much more advanced, value-added molecules.

Functionalizing C-H bonds opens new chemical routes for the synthesis of high-quality chemical compounds—pathways that are straight, less costly, and produce less chemical waste.

The Davies lab has revealed a series of significant papers on dirhodium catalysts that selectively functionalize C-H bonds in a streamlined method.

The paper is a proof of principle that bioisosteres can serve as basic building blocks to produce an expanded range of chemical entities.

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