Toward a Practical, Nonenzymatic Process for Investigational COVID-19 Antiviral Molnupiravir from Cytidine: Supply-Centered Synthesis

Organic Process Research and Development 25(12), 2679-2685, DOI: 10.1021/acs.oprd.1c00219

A scalable four step synthesis of molnupiravir from cytidine is described herein. The attractiveness of this approach is its fully chemical nature involving inexpensive reagents and more environmentally friendly solvents such as water, isopropanol, acetonitrile and acetone. Isolation and purification procedures are improved in comparison to our earlier report, as all intermediates can be isolated via aqueous acid treatment and recrystallization. The key steps in the synthesis, namely ester formation, hydroxamination and deprotection were done on multigram scale to afford molnupiravir in 36-41% yield with average purity of 98 wt% by q-NMR and 99 area % by HPLC.

Corshai Williams
Corshai Williams
Graduate Student