[Science Advances] Multicatalysis Protocol Enables Direct and Versatile Enantioselective Reductive Transformations of Secondary Amides
Abstract: The catalytic asymmetric geminal bis-nucleophilic addition to nonreactive functional groups is a type of highly desirable yet challenging transformation in organic chemistry. Here, we report the first catalytic asymmetric reductive/deoxygenative alkynylation of secondary amides. The method is based on a multicatalysis strategy that merges iridium/copper relay catalysis with organocatalysis. A further combination with the palladium-catalyzed alkyne hydrogenation allows the one-pot enantioselective reductive alkylation of secondary amides. This versatile protocol allows the efficient synthesis of four types of α-branched chiral amines, which are prevalent structural motifs of active pharmaceutical ingredients. The protocol also features excellent enantioselectivity, chemoselectivity, and functional group tolerance to be compatible with more reactive functional groups such as ketone and aldehyde. The synthetic utility of the method was further demonstrated by the late-stage functionalization of two drug derivatives and the concise, first catalytic asymmetric approach to the κ-opioid antagonist aticaprant.