The development of selective reactions that utilize easily available and abundant precursors for the efficient synthesis of amines is a long-standing goal of chemical research. Despite the centrality of amines in a number of important research areas, including medicinal chemistry, total synthesis and materials science, a general, selective and step-efficient synthesis of amines is still needed. Here, we describe a set of mild catalytic conditions utilizing a single copper-based catalyst that enables the direct preparation of three distinct and important amine classes (enamines, α-chiral branched alkylamines and linear alkylamines) from readily available alkyne starting materials with high levels of chemo-, regio- and stereoselectivity. This methodology was applied to the asymmetric synthesis of rivastigmine and the formal synthesis of several other pharmaceutical agents, including duloxetine, atomoxetine, fluoxetine and tolterodine.
“Copper-catalysed Selective Hydroamination Reactions of Alkynes”, Nat. Chem., 2015, 7(1), 38 - 44.