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There has been a dearth of efficient methods for synthesizing epoxy alcohols, key intermediates in asymmetric organic synthesis.
One prominent reaction is the Sharpless asymmetric epoxidation of prochiral allylic alcohols to yield enantio-enriched epoxy alcohols that readily undergo regioselective ring-opening reactions. Epoxy alcohols contain up to three functional groups (olefin, carbinol, and epoxide), for high synthetic potential in generating natural products and pharmaceutical compounds. However, there are chemoselectivity issues in differentiating allylic double bonds when synthesizing allylic epoxy alcohols.