26 August 2010

Tufariello's Elegant Preparation

Franklin A Davis has just published a derivative paper, Asymmetric Total Synthesis of (S)-(+)-Cocaine and the First Synthesis of Cocaine C-1 Analogs from N-Sulfinyl β-Amino Ester Ketals, whose title makes clear its contents.

The paper builds upon an earlier preparation of cocaine by Tufariello (Tetrahedron Let, 1978, 30, 1133) which uses the key step of the intramolecular nitrone cycloaddition.

All very interesting, especially if you're a chemist - the newly published paper does Tufariello's chemistry using a homochiral starting material.

The reason for making the post is that it is a follow up to, No Future for Cocaine, in which I pointed out that there is growing evidence for the decline of cocaine and heroin and their replacement by synthetics.

So, what happens when cocaine and heroin are produced not from plants but in laboratories? Will this give an extra impetus to their position in the drugs market?

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