Direct Catalytic Asymmetric Synthesis of β‑Hydroxy Acids from Malonic Acid

A nickel­(II) catalyzed asymmetric synthesis of β-hydroxy acids from malonic acid and ketones was developed, revealing for the first time the synthetic utility of malonic acid in the construction of chiral carboxyl acids; importantly, the synthetic potential of this strategy was further demonstrated by the rapid construction of cephalanthrin A, phaitanthrin B, cruciferane, and rice metabolites.