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Semiconductor Photocatalysis To Engineering Deuterated N-alkyl Pharmaceuticals Enabled By Synergistic Activation Of Water And Alkanols

Zhaofei Zhang, Chuntian Qiu, Yangsen Xu, Qing Han, Junwang Tang, Kian Ping Loh, Chenliang Su

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AbstractPrecisely controlled deuterium labeling at specific sites of N-alkyl drugs is crucial in drug-development as over 50% of the top-selling drugs contain N-alkyl groups, in which it is very challenging to selectively replace protons with deuterium atoms. With the goal of achieving controllable isotope-labeling in N-alkylated amines, we herein rationally design photocatalytic water-splitting to furnish [H] or [D] and isotope alkanol-oxidation by photoexcited electron-hole pairs on a polymeric semiconductor. The controlled installation of N-CH3, -CDH2, -CD2H, -CD3, and -13CH3 groups into pharmaceutical amines thus has been demonstrated by tuning isotopic water and methanol. More than 50 examples with a wide range of functionalities are presented, demonstrating the universal applicability and mildness of this strategy. Gram-scale production has been realized, paving the way for the practical photosynthesis of pharmaceuticals.