PerspectiveOrganic Chemistry

Curbing the costs of chemical manufacturing

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Science  17 May 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6441, pp. 635
DOI: 10.1126/science.aax2613

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The search for new drug candidates has led pharmaceutical investigators to explore molecular structures of increasing complexity. This requirement is the result of the growing recognition that structural complexity can correlate to desirable drug candidate attributes, including enhanced target binding selectivity (1), solubility (2), and clinical success rates (3, 4). Considering that structurally complex molecules demand longer and more elaborate series of consecutive chemical transformations for preparation, development teams striving to elaborate efficient and sustainable processes for their manufacture face substantial challenges (5, 6). On page 681 of this issue, Smaligo et al. (7) present an example of expeditious preparation of complex molecular scaffolds using new chemical technology.