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    The aryl methyl group is found in many drug-like compounds, but there are limited ways of preparing compounds with an isotope label in this methyl position. The process of cyanation of an aryl halide followed by complete reduction of the nitrile to a methyl group was investigated as a route for preparing stable and radiolabelled isotopologues of drug-like compounds. Using this methodology, carbon-13, deuterium, carbon-14, and tritium labelled isotopologues of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug tolmetin were produced, as well as carbon-13, deuterium, and carbon-14 labelled isotopologues of another nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, celecoxib. The radiolabelled compounds were produced at high specific activity and the stable isotope labelled compounds with high incorporation making them suitable for use as internal standards in mass spectrometry assays. This approach provides a common synthetic route to multiple isotopologues of compounds using inexpensive and readily available labelled starting materials. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


    Kate Ellis-Sawyer, Ryan A Bragg, Nick Bushby, Charles S Elmore, Michael J Hickey. Isotope labelling by reduction of nitriles: Application to the synthesis of isotopologues of tolmetin and celecoxib. Journal of labelled compounds & radiopharmaceuticals. 2017 Apr;60(4):213-220

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    PMID: 28130854

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