Continuous Flow Synthesis of ACE Inhibitors From N-Substituted L-Alanine Derivatives

Chemistry A European Journal 25(64),14527-14531, DOI: 10.1002/chem.201904400

A strategy for the continuous flow synthesis of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors is described. An optimization effort guided by in situ IR analysis resulted in a general amide coupling approach facilitated by N-carboxyanhydride (NCA) activation that was further characterized by reaction kinetics analysis in batch. The three-step continuous process was demonstrated by synthesizing 8 different ACE inhibitors in up to 88 % yield with throughputs in the range of ≈0.5 g h−1, all while avoiding both isolation of reactive intermediates and process intensive reaction conditions. The process was further developed by preparing enalapril, a World Health Organization (WHO) essential medicine, in an industrially relevant flow platform that scaled throughput to ≈1 g h−1.