A Practical Synthesis of Renin Inhibitor MK-1597 (ACT-178882) via Catalytic Enantioselective Hydrogenation and Epimerization of Piperidine Intermediate

A practical enantioselective synthesis of renin inhibitor MK-1597 (ACT-178882), a potential new treatment for hypertension, is described. The synthetic route provided MK-1597 in nine steps and 29% overall yield from commercially available p-cresol (7). The key features of this sequence include a catalytic asymmetric hydrogenation of a tetrasubstituted ene−ester, a highly efficient epimerization/saponification sequence of 4 which sets both stereocenters of the molecule, and a short synthesis of amine fragment 2.