Why Synthesize Molecules? The Art of Synthetic Chemistry


ln order to create new compounds or to fight illnesses.

Many medications result from “fine-tuning” a naturally occurring chemical to change its characteristics.

Some medications are natural products but are only made in tiny enough quantities to be used widely. These drugs are made in grams, kilograms, and, eventually, tones.

The synthesis of bioactive molecules, many of which are interesting as potential or real medications, is one of the main goals of organic chemistry.

These can range in complexity from the (relatively) basic, like L-DOPA, to the incredibly complex, like the manufacture of palytoxin. Many compounds are of intermediate complexity, as demonstrated by Pfizer’s Sildenafil and Merck’s HIV protease inhibitor Crixivan.

These kinds of molecules must be synthesized, which requires for a very high level of dedication, great practical abilities, and, most importantly, sound synthetic planning.