(+)-Clopidogrel (sold as Plavix) is a common pharmaceutical used to help combat the risk of heart disease. The World Health Organisation lists Plavix on its list of 'essential medicines' due to its broad efficacy, low toxicity and low cost (less than 1USD/month in the developing world).
Many industrial routes rely on racemic synthesis and resolution, however syntheses of a single isomer have been reported.
The molecule makes an interesting target as it requires the synthesis of an unusual heterocyclic core, as well as the challenging stereocentre which is prone to racemisation.
Some ground rules:
- the synthesis must include formation of the heterocyle (the whole thing, both rings), and a way for setting the stereocentre
- you can start from anything you like (subject to the above condition), but it must be available in the Sigma Aldrich catalogue