Sep 022016

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Patent US 8324,411

Inventors Annibale Salvi, Antonio Nardi, Stefano Maiorana, Mara Sada
Original Assignee Laboratorio Chimico Internazionale S.P.A.

Laboratorio Chimico Internazionale s.p.A., Milan, Italy
Diacerein, 20a, is used in the treatment of arthritis, and there are several methods available for its synthesis. The majority of these are said to involve an oxidation step that uses CrO3, and as a result, extensive purification is required to remove residues of Cr and reaction byproducts. The patent discloses an oxidation procedure in the preparation of 20a that avoids these problems and is claimed to be suitable for industrial production. Scheme 8 shows the route used to prepare 20athat starts with formation of the protected quinone, 19b. Despite the workup of the compound being quite lengthy, 19b is isolated in 74% yield with 98% purity. The next step is oxidation of the protected dihydroxy quinone 19b using TEMPO and an alkaline chlorite plus an alkaline hypochlorite. The chlorite is used in around 2 mol excess of the substrate and the hypochlorite at around 5 mol % of the substrate. After the oxidation the crude product is isolated in 98% yield and then purified by treatment with Et3N and DMF. The purified 20b is obtained in 76% yield, and then the protection is removed using FeCl3/Ac2O. The yield of crude 20a is 92%, and it is said to be purified by known techniques. The Cr content of the purified material is reported as <1 ppm, and genotoxic impurities such as 19a or acetyl derivatives are reported to be <2 ppm.


Scheme 8. a

aReagents and conditions: (a) (i) K2CO3, KI, Bu4NBr, DMF, 60 °C; (ii) 80 °C, 1 h; (iii) BnCl, 50 °C, 1 h; (iv) 80 °C, 1 h; (v) add MeOH at 50 °C; (vi) cool to <25 °C, filter; (vii) evaporate, add THF; (viii) wash at 60 °C with aq NaOH, H2O, brine; (ix) evaporate, add EtOAc, concentrate; (x) cool <4 °C, 1 h; (xi) filter, wash, dry. (b) (i) TEMPO, aq NaH2PO4, aq Na2HPO4, MeCN, 35 °C; (ii) add aq NaClO2, 35 °C, 50 min; (iii) add aq NaOCl, 65 °C, 3 h; (iv) cool rt, add H2O; (v) add H3PO4, pH 3; (vi) filter, H2O wash, dry; (vii) Et3N, DMF, EtOAc, 60 °C, 0.5 h; (viii) filter hot; (ix) add H2O, separate; (x) extract H2O phase at 60 °C with EtOAc (×6); (xi) cool organic phases to rt, add HCl to pH 2; (xii) cool <5 °C, 1 h; (xiii) filter, H2O wash, MeCN wash, dry. (c) (i) FeCl3, Ac2O, 65 °C, 1.5 h; (ii) cool <4 °C, 1 h; (iii) filter, wash in Ac2O, EtOAc wash, dry.


The process produces the desired product without using heavy-metal oxidising agents; however, the workup procedures are quite lengthy.

Example 1 Preparation of 1,8-dibenzyloxy-3-(hydroxymethyl)anthraquinone (dibenzyl aloe-emodin)483 g (3.5 moles) of potassium carbonate, 16 g (0.1 moles) of potassium iodide and 16 g (0.05 moles) of tetrabutylammonium bromide are added to a solution of 270 g (1 mole) of 1,8-dihydroxy-3-(hydroxymethyl)anthraquinone (aloe-emodin) in 3500 ml of DMF at 60° C.; the reaction mixture is heated at 80° C. for 1 h. It is cooled to 50° C. and 443 g (3.5 moles) of benzyl chloride are added dropwise in approximately one hour. At the end of the dripping, the reaction mixture is brought back to 80° C. and left at that temperature under stirring for 45-60 minutes. It is then cooled to 50° C. and 200 ml of methyl alcohol are added. It is cooled to 20-25° C. and the inorganic salts are removed by filtering. The organic solvent is distilled at 60-70° C. at reduced pressure and the residue is dissolved in 3200 ml of tetrahydrofuran at 60° C. Maintaining the temperature at 50-60° C., the organic phase is washed twice with 1200 ml of 2.5 molar aqueous sodium hydroxide and once with 1000 ml of a saturated solution of sodium chloride in water. The organic phase is concentrated at reduced pressure at 60° C. and the residue is recovered with 2700 ml of ethyl acetate. The suspension thus obtained is concentrated to approximately ⅓ of the initial volume by distillation of the solvent at reduced pressure. It is gradually cooled to 0-4° C. and kept at that temperature for 1 hour. The solid is filtered and washed with ethyl acetate (100 ml×2). The damp product is dried at 45° C. at reduced pressure for 12-14 hours, providing 334 g (yield 74%) of dibenzyl aloe-emodin having a purity of 98% (HPLC).

melting point: 170-171° C.

IR cm−1: 1655, 1612, 1232

Example 2 Synthesis of 1,8-dibenzyloxyanthraquinone-3-carboxylic acid (dibenzylrhein)10 g (0.06 moles) of radical 2,2,6,6-tetramethyl-1-piperidinyl-oxyl (TEMPO) and 1160 ml of an aqueous solution of 120 g (1 mole) of sodium dihydrogen phosphate and 180 g (1 mole) of disodium hydrogen phosphate are added in sequence to a suspension of 333 g (0.74 moles) of 1,8-dibenzyloxy-3-(hydroxymethyl)anthraquinone in 1660 ml of acetonitrile. The reaction mixture is heated to 35° C. and a solution of 167 g (1.5 moles) of sodium chlorite 80% in 513 ml of water is added dropwise in 40-50 minutes, maintaining the temperature around 35-40° C. 20 ml of aqueous sodium hypochlorite 10-12% are then dripped in and the reaction is heated to 60-65° C. for three hours. It is cooled to room temperature and 1400 ml of water are added. Phosphoric acid 85% is dripped in until reaching a pH of 2.8-3.2. The solid obtained is filtered and washed with water (350 ml×2). The damp product is dried at 50° C. at reduced pressure for 14-16 hours, providing 337 g (yield 98%) of crude dibenzylrhein.

Example 3 Purification of 1,8-dibenzyloxyanthraquinone-3-carboxylic acid (dibenzylrhein)337 g (0.72 moles) of crude 1,8-dibenzyloxyanthraquinone-3-carboxylic acid are dissolved in a solution of 134 ml of triethylamine in 900 ml of dimethylformamide DMF and 1800 ml of ethyl acetate, heating to 60° C. for 20-30 min. Any undissolved elements are removed by hot filtering and 2700 ml of water are added. The organic phase is separated and the aqueous phase is washed 6 times with 800 ml of ethyl acetate each time, maintaining the temperature at 60° C. The organic phase is cooled to room temperature and acidified with hydrochloric acid 33% until pH 2 is reached; the suspension thus obtained is cooled to 0-5° C. for approximately 1 hour. The product is filtered, washing it thoroughly with water (1200 ml) and then with 200 ml of acetonitrile. After drying at 50° C. at reduced pressure for 14-16 hours, 256 g of dibenzylrhein are obtained with a yield of 76%.

melting point: 250-251° C.

IR cm−1: 1666, 1621, 1587, 1524

Example 4 Synthesis of 1,8-diacetoxy-3-carboxyanthraquinone (diacerein)45 g (0.28 moles) of anhydrous iron trichloride are added in portions to a suspension of 255 g (0.55 moles) of 1,8-dibenzyloxyanthraquinone-3-carboxylic acid in 1300 ml of acetic anhydride. The reaction mixture is heated to 65° C. for one hour and thirty minutes. It is gradually cooled to 2-4° C. and maintained at that temperature for 1 hour. The solid obtained is filtered and washed with 150 ml of acetic anhydride and then with 400 ml of ethyl acetate. The damp product is dried at 50° C. at reduced pressure for 14-16 hours, providing 186 g of crude diacerein (yield 92%). The crude diacerein is purified according to the known techniques.

1H NMR (d6-DMSO) δ: 2.4 (6H, s); 7.6 (1H, dd); 7.9 (1H, t); 8.0 (1H, d); 8.1 (1H, dd); 8.5 (1H, d).

IR cm−1: 1763, 1729, 1655, 1619, 1591, 1183.

Chromium: not detectable (<1 ppm)

Genotoxic impurities (aloe emodin and acetyl derivatives)≦2 ppm.

/////////Diacerein, US 8324411, PATENT


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