A Facile and Efficient Asymmetric Synthesis of Florfenicol

Feng Li, Zhong-Hua Wang, Lei Zhao & Fen-Er Chen
A facile and efficient enantioselective synthesis of flor­fenicol starting from commercially available 4-methylthiobenzaldehyde is described. Key features of the synthesis include a one-step oxidation of allyl and thioether groups in allylic alcohol to form (2S,3S)-epoxide under Sharpless epoxidation conditions and a highly efficient conversion of (1R,2R)-azide into amino alcohol via debenzylation and reduction of an azido moiety in one-pot operation.