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BC catalyst discovery promises faster, cheaper drug production

reaction, but the new catalyst is the first to control the handedness of the process at the same time.

"What makes this discovery enormously significant is that silyation is already one of the most useful ways if not the most effective way to protect an alcohol from undesired reactions while a molecule is being modified somewhere else," Prof. Snapper said.

Because of the new catalyst, what used to take four to five steps to accomplish each step adding significantly to the final cost can now be achieved in a single transformation. The substance also contains no metals and is therefore more environmentally friendly than many other catalysts.

"The new catalyst is easy to prepare, requires little or no solvent and therefore minimizes waste, and can be used in air and can be recycled several times," Prof. Snapper added. "Together, these properties make our discovery an important one both from the theoretical as well as the practical point of view."

"This is an elegant solution to a very important, practical problem, with the potential to result in more efficient, more environmentally friendly, and less expensive processes for manufacturing drugs. It's a great example of how NIH support for fundamental chemical research can benefit the American health care consumer," said John M. Schwab, a chemist at the National Institute of General Medical Science,which supported the work.


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Contact: Greg Frost
frostgr@bc.edu
617-552-4826
Boston College
6-Sep-2006


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