Part of my research is focused on the preparation of chiral Ir-N,P complexes to be employed as catalysts in the asymmetric hydrogenation of various classes of olefins. Thiazole and imidazole based ligands have been synthesized and were successfully used in the enantioselective hydrogenation of allylic alcohols.
Other projects cover the application of these procedures as key steps in the preparation of intermediates for the total synthesis of natural substances.
For example, the Ir-catalysed hydrogenation of two allylic alcohol fragments, giving 97 and 93 % ee, has been recently employed to obtain a late stage intermediate of the renin-inhibitor drug Aliskiren.
I am currently involved in the investigation of prochiral 1,4-dienes, generated by Birch reduction of readily available aromatic compounds, as potential substrates for asymmetric hydrogenation.
Several substitution patterns and different functionalities on the aromatic source are under study to demonstrate the wide applicability of this specific route towards chiral molecules of interest.
. Peters, B. K.; Liu, J.; Margarita, C.; Andersson, P. G. Chem. Eur. J., 2015, 21, 7292–7296.