Click chemistry

Click chemistry is a synthesis approach developed for the rapid construction of functional molecules, including new drugs, functional materials and important chemical tools for biology. By their very nature, click reactions are high yielding, wide in scope, create only inoffensive by-products, are specific, simple to perform and can be conducted in easily removable or benign solvents. They enable the unification of discrete units or ‘building blocks’ in a controlled fashion, thereby building-up complexity with exquisite control.

Sulfur-Fluoride Exchange (SuFEx) is a new branch of click chemistry and focuses around the exchange of the sulfur-fluorine bond for an incoming nucleophile, often an aryl silyl ether or amine.

In the Moses group, we focus on the development and application of new functional click chemistry, with particular emphasis on anticancer drug discovery, new antibiotics and chemical biology.

For example, we have employed this new technology for the rapid generation of new heterocycles and compounds containing pendant sulfonyl fluorides through the latest sulfur hub, 1-bromoethene-1-sulfonyl fluoride (BESF).

We have also developed an efficient amide coupling reagent ‘SuFExAmide’ mediated through sulfur-fluoride exchange chemistry for the synthesis of challenging amides. We have demonstrated its application in the difficult amide coupling to synthesise GNF6702 a promising candidate for the treatment of Chagas disease, leishmaniasis and sleeping sickness.