Scalable synthesis of bryostatin 1 and analogs, adjuvant leads against latent HIV

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Science  13 Oct 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6360, pp. 218-223
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan7969

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A gram-scale route to bryostatin

Scientists once accumulated 14 tons of the red, bushy, tufted sea creature Bugula neritina to extract 18 grams of bryostatin 1. The macrocyclic organic compound is under study for treatment of HIV, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease but has proven frustratingly scarce. Wender et al. report a 29-step chemical synthesis of bryostatin 1 that proceeds in 4.8% overall yield and provides gram quantities of the compound (see the Perspective by Lanman). Intermediates along the pathway can be straightforwardly modified to produce analogs, two of which were prepared en route and studied in vitro.

Science, this issue p. 218; see also p. 166


Bryostatin 1 is an exceedingly scarce marine-derived natural product that is in clinical development directed at HIV/AIDS eradication, cancer immunotherapy, and the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Despite this unique portfolio of indications, its availability has been limited and variable, thus impeding research and clinical studies. Here, we report a total synthesis of bryostatin 1 that proceeds in 29 total steps (19 in the longest linear sequence, >80% average yield per step), collectively produces grams of material, and can be scaled to meet clinical needs (~20 grams per year). This practical solution to the bryostatin supply problem also opens broad, facile, and efficient access to derivatives and potentially superior analogs.

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