Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Organic chemistry

Streamlining drug synthesis

Drug manufacture can benefit from flow synthesis, in which raw materials are fed into a sequence of reactors, producing the drug as a continuous output. A flow strategy that capitalizes on solid catalysts has now been realized. See Letter p.329

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Flow synthesis of the anti-inflammatory drug (R)-rolipram.


  1. See all news & views


  1. Tsubogo, T., Oyamada, H. & Kobayashi, S. Nature 520, 329–332 (2015).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Pastre, J. C., Browne, D. L. & Ley, S. V. Chem. Soc. Rev. 42, 8849–8869 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Baxendale, I. R. et al. J. Pharm. Sci. 104, 781–791 (2015).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Hopkin, M. D., Baxendale, I. R. & Ley, S. V. Chem. Commun. 46, 2450–2452 (2010).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Snead, D. R. & Jamison, T. F. Angew. Chem. Int. Edn 54, 983–987 (2015).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Battilocchio, C., Hawkins, J. M. & Ley, S. V. Org. Lett. 15, 2278–2281 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Chorghade, R., Battilocchio, C., Hawkins, J. M. & Ley, S. V. Org. Lett. 15, 5698–5701 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Battilocchio, C., Hawkins, J. M. & Ley, S. V. Org. Lett. 16, 1060–1063 (2014).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Ouchi, T., Battilocchio, C., Hawkins, J. M. & Ley, S. V. Org. Process Res. Dev. 18, 1560–1566 (2014).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Markarian, J. Pharm. Technol. 38(11), 52–54 (2014).

    Google Scholar 

  11. Truppo, M. D., Janey, J. M. & Hughes, G. US patent application US20140106413 A1 (2014).

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Joel M. Hawkins.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Hawkins, J. Streamlining drug synthesis. Nature 520, 302–303 (2015).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing