Asymmetric Synthesis of an Antagonist of Neurokinin Receptors: SSR 241586

SSR 241586 is a 2,2-disubstituted morpholine, developed by Sanofi-Aventis, which is active in the treatment of schizophrenia and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Different strategies have been studied to synthesize this molecule and among the strategies an organo-catalyzed Henry reaction, applied to an α-keto ester, has produced SSR 241586 in excellent enantiomeric excess.