New Compound Creation Method Could Reduce Drug Costs

Novel method creates less costly and effective pharmaceuticals, which could lower cost of Abilify, Crestor, Gleevec, and Lidoderm.

Researchers created a novel method to inexpensively manufacture important chemical compounds used in pharmaceuticals.

The chemical compounds, amines, contain a ring-like structure (ayl group), and are widely used in prescription drugs, such as Abilify, Crestor, Gleevec, and Lidoderm, according to a study published by Nature Communications.

Hetero aryl amines contain an aromatic ring in their structure, and creating this type of amine requires connecting the amine to an organic molecule, which is also called a functional group. The current process creates anilines, a toxic compound used to make substances such as polyurethane.

For example, chemists create amines by treating anilines with hydrogen, according to the study. Instead of going through the aniline step first, researchers have been able to bind amines to organic compounds using an iron catalyst.

They were able to create multiple compounds used in commercial products. The hetero aryl amines created with the new method have a high tolerance to functional groups, and as are as useful and versatile as conventionally created amines.

Researchers also note that some of the functional groups need to be protected using the conventional method, according to the study. The new method would be safer to create.

The iron catalysts are typically less costly, easy to produce, and more available than anilines, which have to be created from amines in the first place.

“From these points of view, the current method can be considered as a valuable alternative to the conventional amination methods such as direct alkylation and reductive amination,” the researchers wrote.