Flow synthesis for Novartis anticancer drug, Gleevec, Imatinib

New Drug Approvals

flow synthesis

The flow-based route required minimal manual intervention and was achieved despite poor solubility of many reaction components

21 January 2013Michael Parkin

UK chemists have used a combination of flow chemistry methods with solid-supported scavengers and reagents to synthesise the active pharmaceutical ingredient, imatinib, of the anticancer drug Gleevec. The method avoids the need for any manual handling of intermediates and allows the drug to be synthesised in high purity in less than a day.

Gleevec, developed by Novartis, is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor used for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukaemia and gastrointestinal stromal tumours.


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‘Wrapping’ Gleevec Fights Drug-Resistant Cancer, Study Shows


The anti-cancer drug Gleevec® is far more effective against a drug-resistant strain of cancer when the drug wraps the target with a molecular bandage that seals out water from a critical area. This image shows the bandage (black box)…

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