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Catalyst Screening

Catalyst Screening

Medicilon has built the catalyst screening service platform to help our clients and chemists quickly screen out one or more effective chemical synthesis pathways, reduce costs and increase efficiency of drug development.
  • So far, the vast majority of drugs are produced through organic synthesis.  However, due to high cost, low success rate, and long turnaround time, organic synthesis has become the main speed-limiting step in the preclinical development of new drugs.
    In chemical synthesis, metal-catalyzed reactions, especially the transition metal-catalyzed coupling reactions, can quickly and precisely form various carbon-carbon bonds and carbon-heteroatom bonds, which is an efficient and broad-spectrum synthetic method.  According to recent statistics, the alkylation/arylation of heteroatoms and the formation of carbon-carbon bonds are among the top five most used organic reactions.  However, on the other hand, the failure rate of metal-catalyzed coupling reactions is high due to the diversity and complexity of substrates, and the fact that heterocyclic rings in many drug-like molecules are usually poisonous to metal catalysts.  For example, the reaction failure rate of carbon-nitrogen coupling is over 50%.  How to quickly and consistently produce a large number of compounds with limited intermediates in a limited time has become one of the urgent needs in the field of drug discovery.
    In order to further improve the efficiency of chemical synthesis and obtain more accurate synthesis data, Shanghai Medicilon Inc. (Medicilon) has built the catalyst screening service platform to help our clients and chemists quickly screen out one or more effective chemical synthesis pathways, reduce costs and increase efficiency of drug development.

Catalyst Screening Reaction Type

  • Metal-catalyzed coupling reactions are common reactions to form carbon-carbon bonds and carbon-heteroatom bonds in organic synthesis, and play a vital role in organic synthesis.

    (1) C-C Bond Formation

    Suzuki Reaction


    Heck Reaction


    Sonogashira Reaction


    Stille Reaction


    Negishi Reaction


    C-H Activation Reaction


    Cyanide Reaction


    Olefin Metathesis


    Photoredox


    (2) C-X Bond Formation

    Buchwald Reaction


    Ullmann Reaction


    Miyaura Reaction


    C-O


    C-S


Catalyst Screening Flowchart

  • Catalyst Screening Flowchart.webp

    A 72-h working process was established for routine catalyst screening; we plan to future cut the timeline to 48 h.

Schematic Diagram of Catalyst Screening

  • Schematic Diagram of Catalyst Screening.webp

Advantages of Catalyst Screening Service Platform

  • (1) The catalytic turnover rate is high, and multiple reaction conditions can be screened at one time, which effectively shortens the compound synthesis time.(2) The data accuracy rate is high, equipped with experienced chemical synthesis experts, the data information is more accurate and reliable.(3) Screening is cost-effective, only a small amount of substrate is needed to complete a screening, which can significantly reduce material and labor costs.

Catalyst Screening Equipment

  • Catalyst Screening Equipment.webp

Medicilon Case Study

  • Medicilon Case Study 1: Suzuki Coupling

    Medicilon Case Study 1: Suzuki Coupling.webp
    Medicilon Case Study 1: Suzuki Coupling.webp
  • Medicilon Case Study 2: Buchwald Coupling

    Medicilon Case Study 2: Buchwald Coupling.webp
    Medicilon Case Study 2: Buchwald Coupling.webp
    The parallel screening of 24 reaction conditions was completed with only a small amount of sample (around 50 mg) and a short amount of time (2-3 days), and the optimal reaction condition was determined.  The amount of samples and time required will be much greater than the current amount if we set up 24 reactions separately.
    From the above cases, we can see that catalyst screening plays an important role in the synthesis of new drugs, which can greatly improve reaction efficiency and reduce R&D costs.
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