Process Research and Impurity Control Strategy of Esketamine
journal contributionposted on 30.03.2020 by Shenghua Gao, Xuezhi Gao, Zhezhou Yang, Fuli Zhang
Any type of content formally published in an academic journal, usually following a peer-review process.
An improved synthesis of (S)-ketamine (esketamine) has been developed, which was cost-effective, and the undesired isomer could be recovered by racemization. Critical process parameters of each step were identified as well as the process-related impurities. The formation mechanisms and control strategies of most impurities were first discussed. Moreover, the (S)-ketamine tartrate is a dihydrate, which was disclosed for the first time. The practicable racemization catalyzed by aluminum chloride was carried out in quantitative yield with 99% purity. The ICH-grade quality (S)-ketamine hydrochloride was obtained in 51.1% overall yield (14.0% without racemization) by chiral resolution with three times recycling of the mother liquors. The robust process of esketamine could be industrially scalable.