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June 20, 2016

Biocatalytic retrosynthesis – a new approach that needs new guidelines

Here’s an interesting article from Nick Turner and Elaine O’Reilly at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (UK), in which they present strategies for synthetic organic chemists to combine traditional synthetic methods with biocatalysis in retrosynthetic planning. The result is highly efficient routes to chiral drug targets.

Nature Chemical Biology 9, 285–288 (2013) doi:10.1038/nchembio.1235


The recent development of a broad range of biocatalysts that can be applied in organic synthesis has brought into focus the need to rethink the way in which organic target molecules might be constructed in the future.

To aid synthetic chemists in identifying where biocatalysts might be usefully applied, we propose that guidelines and rules for biocatalytic retrosynthesis should be developed, and that this new approach should be embedded in the future training and education of organic chemists.

Full Article
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