Synfacts 2021; 17(02): 0123
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1719327
Synthesis of Natural Products and Potential Drugs

Synthesis of Gefapixant

Philip Kocienski
Ren H, *, Maloney KM. * et al. Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway USA
Development of a Green and Sustainable Manufacturing Process for Gefapixant Citrate (MK-7264) Part 1: Introduction and Process Overview.

Org. Process Res. Dev. 2020;
24: 2445-2452
DOI: 10.1021/acs.oprd.0c00248.


Gefapixant citrate (MK-7264) is a P2X3 receptor antagonist that reduces the frequency of cough in patients with refractory chronic cough. The six-step synthesis of gefapixant citrate (G) is described in forensic detail in six back-to-back papers. Part 1 provides an overview of the commercial manufacturing process. Parts 2–6 elaborate the process development of each step. Compared with the clinical supply route, this route has a much improved overall process mass intensity from commodity raw materials resulting in a five-fold reduction compared to the clinical supply route. In addition, a higher overall yield (60% vs 16%) and a six-fold reduction in raw material costs were realized.



Salient features of the synthesis are (1) a highly efficient two-step methoxyphenol synthesis (AC), (2) an innovative pyrimidine synthesis in flow (DE), and (3) a simplified sulfonamidation reaction using chlorosulfonic acid (EF). In order to address adverse solubility and form issues, the free base F was transiently converted into a highly soluble glycolate salt enabling complete dissolution, from which direct crystallization of the final citrate salt occurred in a high yield through salt metathesis.


Publication History

Publication Date:
20 January 2021 (online)

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