Two different synthetic routes were explored for the synthesis of fluoro furanyl norprogesterone (FFNP) 1, a high-affinity ligand for the progesterone receptor (PgR) that is being developed as a PET imaging agent for PgR-positive breast cancer. Both approaches proceed through a key intermediate, triol 5. The first approach, starting from keto-ketal 2, employed a dioxenyl group as a synthon for installing a corticosteroid side chain in keto-alcohol 4. The second approach, starting from propargylic acetate 12b, involved the application of a two-step method, a Pd(II)-catalyzed oxidative rearrangement followed by a base-catalyzed acetate rearrangement of the intermediate unsaturated acetate 13b, to generate the requisite corticosteroid side chain in keto-acetate 14b. This intermediate was further elaborated to the final product 1 via efficient dihydroxylation with potassium permangnate, furan acetalization with scandium triflate, and mesylation and fluorination reactions. The palladium-catalyzed route is considerably more efficient than the dioxene approach for the synthesis of key intermediate triol 5, and the scandium triflate-catalyzed acetalization, in particular, led to a considerable improvement in the overall yield of the endo furan acetal alcohol 16a. This route provides a major improvement in the overall yield of the final progestin target, FFNP 1.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Organic Chemistry