Development of a Biocatalytic Aerobic Oxidation for the Manufacturing Route to Islatravir

26 October 2023, Version 1


Biocatalytic oxidations have the potential to address many synthetic chemistry challenges, enabling the selective synthesis of chiral intermediates such as carbonyl compounds, alcohols, or amines. The use of oxygen-dependent enzymes can dramatically reduce the environmental footprint of redox transformations at manufacturing scale. Here, as part of the biocatalytic cascade to an anti-HIV investigational drug islatravir 1, we describe the development of an aerobic oxidation process delivering (R)-ethynylglyceraldehyde 3-phosphate 3 using an evolved galactose oxidase enzyme. Integrated enzyme and reaction engineering were critical for achieving a robust, high-yielding oxidation performed at pilot plant scale (>20 kg, 90% yield).


enzymatic cascades
process development
drug manufacture


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