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Title:
A METHOD OF CHIRAL RESOLUTION OF THE KEY INTERMEDIATE OF THE SYNTHESIS OF APREMILAST AND ITS USE FOR THE PREPARATION OF PURE APREMILAST
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/161996
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention provides a method of chiral resolution of racemic amines of the benzyl type by means of salts formed with tartaric acid of formula (3) and intermediate of formula (2), and their use in the synthesis of Apremilast of formula 1.

Inventors:
FAIGL, Ferenc (Bukarest utca 15, Budapest, H-1114, HU)
DOUBSKY, Jan (Rymarovska 434, Praha 9, 199 00, CZ)
KLVANA, Robert (Sladkovicova 11, Praha 4, 140 00, CZ)
RICHTER, Jindrich (Hurka 173, Pardubice, 530 03, CZ)
FOGASSY, Elemer (Fuvaros utca 38, Erd, H-2030, HU)
MATRAVOLGYI, Bela (Cserep utca 41, Budapest, H-1183, HU)
MIZSAK, Agnes (Est Utca 7, Budapest, H-1181, HU)
Application Number:
CZ2016/000038
Publication Date:
October 13, 2016
Filing Date:
April 11, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ZENTIVA, K.S. (U Kabelovny 130, Praha 10, 102 37, CZ)
International Classes:
C07D209/40; C07C233/15; C07C315/06; C07C317/28
Domestic Patent References:
WO2003080049A12003-10-02
WO2010064212A12010-06-10
WO2000025777A12000-05-11
WO2003080049A12003-10-02
Foreign References:
EP2431371A12012-03-21
US20130217919A12013-08-22
US4034113A1977-07-05
EP1126839B12007-01-03
US20080234359A12008-09-25
EP2431371A12012-03-21
US20130217919A12013-08-22
US20140081032A12014-03-20
Other References:
ELVERS B ET AL: "ULLMANN'S ENCYCLOPEDIA OF INDUSTRIAL CHEMISTRY, 3. OCCURRENCE AND PRODUCTION OF OPTICALLY ACTIVE COMPOUNDS", 1 January 1991, ULLMANN'S ENCYCLOPEDIA OF INDUSTRIAL CHEMISTRY, WEINHEIM. VCH.; DE, PAGE(S) 182 - 183, XP001167124
MONTZKA T A ET AL: "SUBSTITUTED TARTRANILIC ACIDS. A NEW SERIES OF RESOLVING ACIDS", THE JOURNAL OF ORGANIC CHEMISTRY, AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, US, vol. 33, no. 10, 1 October 1968 (1968-10-01), pages 3993 - 3995, XP002576424, ISSN: 0022-3263
ROBERT T STANDRIDGE ET AL: "Phenylalkylamines with potential psychotherapeutic utility. 1. 2-Amino-1-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-methylphenyl)butane", JOURNAL OF MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY, 1 December 1976 (1976-12-01), pages 1400 - 1404, XP055281727, Retrieved from the Internet DOI: 10.1021/jm00234a010
N. HUH; C. M. THOMPSON, TETRAHEDRON, vol. 51, 1995, pages 5935
T. MONTZKAT; E. PINDELL; J. MATISKELL, J. ORG. CHEM., vol. 33, 1968, pages 3993
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JIROTKOVA, Ivana et al. (Rott, Ruzicka & GuttmannVinohradska 37, Praha 2, 120 00, CZ)
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Claims:
Claims

1. A process of preparing (5)- { 2- [ 1 -(3 -ethoxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-2-methylsulfonylethyI] - 4-acetylaminoisoindoline-l,3-dione of formula 1

characterized in that it comprises a reaction of the racemic amine of formula 2a

(2a) with chiral derivatives of tartaric acid of formula 3

(3) wherein R1, R2 are independently H, a Ci-C12 alkyl, aryl or heteroaryl with one or more heteroatoms, COR3, wherein R3 is a C Cn alkyl, C6-Ci4 aryl, heteroaryl with one or more heteroatoms, Y is a hydroxyl, OR4, wherein R4 is any C Cj g alkyl, Ce-Cn aryl, heteroaryl with one or more heteroatoms, amide NR5Re, wherein R5 and R6 are independently H, a C -C e alkyl, Ce- aryl, heteroaryl with one or more heteroatoms, wherein all these and above mentioned groups are optionally jEurther substituted by any functional groups, preferably C^-Cu aryls, substituted by halogens in any position, in a suitable solvent, preferably with the use of an additive, producing the salt of formula (5)-4a

<(S)-4a)

1 9

wherein R , R and Y are as defined above, and a subsequent reaction of the obtained salt of formula (5)-4a with 3- acetamidophtalic anhydride of formula 5,

producing (S)- { 2- [ 1 -(3 -ethoxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-2-methylsulfonylethyl]-4- acetylaminoisoindoline-l,3-dione of formula 1,

or conversion of the produced salt of formula (5)-4a in a suitable solvent with the use of a base to the free amine of formula (S)-2a,

<(S)-2a) which, by a subsequent reaction with 3-acetamidophtalic anhydride of formula 5 provides (iS)-{ 2 -[ 1 -(3 -ethoxy ^4-methoxyphenyl)-2 -methylsulfonylethyl] -4-acetylaminoisoindoline - 1,3-dione of formula 1.

2. The process according to claim 1, characterized in that said chiral derivatives of tartaric acid are (JR;i-)-4-chlorotartranilic acid, or (i?)i-)-di-jtJ-toIuoyl-tartaric acid.

3. The process according to claims 1 or 2, characterized in that the molar ratio of the racemic amine and the derivative of tartaric acid is 1:0.5 to 1:0.65.

4. The process according to claims 1 to 3, characterized in that said additive is selected from the group consisting of mineral acids comprising sulphuric, phosphoric, perchloric, hydrochloric and hydrobromic acid, and organic acids comprising formic acid or sulfonic acids, preferably hydrochloric acid.

5. The process according to claim 4, characterized in that the molar ratio of the racemic amine, derivative of tartaric acid and additive is 1: 0.50 to 0.65 : 0.45 to 0.60, preferably 1:0.65:0.45.

6. The process according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the solvent for the reaction with the derivatives of tartaric acid is selected from the group consisting of water, C1-C6 aliphatic alcohols, C4-C12 ethers, C3-C8 ketones, C3-C12 esters, C1-C7 halogenated hydrocarbons, C5-C12 hydrocarbons, nitrogen derivatives of hydrocarbons and carboxylic acids, amides or nitriles of C1-C6 carboxylic acids or their mixtures, preferably water, methanol, dioxane, tetrahyrodfuran-THF, 2- methyltetrahydrofuran-2-Me-THF, or their mixture.

7. (i.,/i)-4-chlorotartranilate of (¾-l-(3-ethoxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-2-(methylsulfonyl)- ethylamine of formula (,S -4aa.

((SHaa)

8. (-¾,Jfi)-Di-p-toluoyl-tartrate of (5) -(3-ethoxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-2-(rnethylsulfonyl)- ethylamine of formula (S)-4ab.

«S)-4ab)

9. Use of (S)-l-(3-elJioxy-4-memoxyphenyl)-2-(memylsulfonyl)-e lamine (R,R)-4- chlorotartranilate of formula (S)-4aa or of (5)-l-(3-ethoxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-2- (methylsulfonyl)^mylamine (^^-di-p-toluoyl-tartrate of formula (S)-4ab, as defined in claims 7 and 8, in the synthesis of (S)-{2-[l-(3-ethoxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-2- memylsulfonylemyl]-4-acetylaminoisoindoline- 1 ,3 -dione.

10. The process according to claims 1 to 6, characterized in that the salt of formula (5)-4aa or (5 -4ab is purified, wherein the salt (5)-4aa, or (S)-4ab is dissolved in a hot state in distilled water or an alcohol selected from the group of methanol, ethanol, or their mixtures and, after cooling, crystals of the respective substance with the isomeric purity ee >99%, measured by HPLC, are separated.

11. The process according to claims 1 to 6, characterized in that the salt of formula (5)-4a is converted to the free amine of formula (5 -2a with the use of a base selected from the group consisting of NaOH, OH, K2C03 and Na2C03 in the presence of water and a water-immiscible organic solvent selected from the group consisting of C4-C12 ethers, C4-C8 ketones, C3-C12 esters, C1-C7 halogenated hydrocarbons, C5-C12 hydrocarbons and nitrogen derivatives of hydrocarbons, preferably in a mixture of water with dichloromethane, ethyl acetate, ethyl methyl ketone or toluene.

12. The process according to claim 1 to 6, characterized in that the reaction with the phthalic anhydride is conducted in the presence of water, an organic solvent, or their mixtures, wherein suitable organic solvents are C2-C5 carboxylic acids, preferably acetic acid, nitriles of C2-C5 carboxylic acids, preferably acetonitrile, and polar aprotic solvents such as dimethyl formamide, dimethyl acetamide, dimethyl sulfoxide, and further hydrocarbons, preferably toluene, xylenes, α,α,α-trifiuorotoluene, chlorobenzene and /i-butyl chloride.

13. A process of preparing (5)-{2-[l-(3-ethoxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-2-methylsulfonylethyl]- 4-acetylaminoisoindoline-l,3-dione of formula (1), characterized in that it comprises a reaction of the racemic amine (2a) with (i?,^)-chlorotartranilic acid ((5)-4aa) in the presence of water and hydrochloric acid in the molar ratio of 1:0.65:0.45, and the produced salt is then reacted with 3-acetamidophtalic anhydride in glacial acetic acid under reflux conditions, or the produced (5 -l-(3-ethoxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-2- (memylsulfonyl)-ethylanimonium-(ifJ-¾)-4-chlorotartranilate is converted in the presence of NaOH to (S)-l-(3-ethoxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-2-(methylsulfonyl)- emylamine, which provides, by a reaction with 3-acetamidophtalic anhydride in glacial acetic acid under reflux conditions, (5)-{2-[l-(3-ethoxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-2- methylsulfonylethyl]-4-acetylaminoisoindoline-l ,3-dione.

Description:
A method of chiral resolution of the key intermediate of the synthesis of Apremilast and its use for the preparation of pure Apremilast

Technical Field

The invention relates to a process of preparing (^-{l-tl-tB-ethoxy-^methoxyphenyl)-

2-memylsulfonylemyl]-4-acetylaminoisoindoline-l,3-dione of formula 1, known as Apremilast,

Apremilast

(1)

using chiral resolution of the key synthetic intermediate: racemic l-(3-ethoxy-4- methoxyphenyl)-2-(methylsulfonyl)-ethylamine of formula 2a. The racemic amine of formula 2a is chirally resolved by means of derivatives of tartaric acid of formula 3, and the resulting salts of formula 4a can be used either directly (method /, Scheme 1), or after releasing of the free amine of formula (S)-2a by means of a suitable base (method ii, Scheme 1), for the preparation of pure Apremilast of formula 1 by subsequent reaction with 3-acetamidophtalic anhydride of formula 5. In addition, method ii makes it possible to very easily and efficiently recover the resolving agent of formula 3.

«SM»)

Scheme 1 The key chiral intermediate of formula (S)-2a is isolated from the racemic amine of formula 2a in the form of salts of formula (S)-4a with suitable derivatives of tartaric acid 3, preferably with (i? ) -S)-4-chlorotartrariilic acid of formula (R,R)-3a, i.e. in the form of the salt of formula (S)-4aa.

Background Art

Apremilast of formula 1 is an orally administered phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibitor, which inhibits spontaneous production of the tumor necrosis factor a (TNF-a), thus exhibiting an anti-inflammatory activity. It can be used for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis and it is also being tested for the treatment of other inflammatory diseases.

Apremilast of formula 1 was first described as a racemic mixture of pharmaceutically active ingredients (WO 2000/25777 Al; EP 1126839 B). A particular enantiomer, (S)-isomer, commonly only referred to as Apremilast of formula 1 was described in an application (WO 2003/080049) a few years later, which is the carrier of the proper biological activity. Thus, it is the chiral amine of formula (S)-2a that is the key intermediate for the synthesis of Apremilast of formula 1. The application (WO 2003/080049) describes a procedure of chiral resolution of the racemic amine of formula 2 a by means of N-acetyl-L-leucine and subsequent use of the corresponding salt of formula 6 for the synthesis of Apremilast of formula 1 (Scheme 2).

(2a) (6) (1)

Scheme 2

Using this procedure, the desired enantiomer of formula (S)-2a was isolated in the yield of 44%, or 89% (calculated on the theoretical content of 50% of formula (S)-2a in the racemic amine 2a). Also, later applications (US 2008/0234359 Al; EP 2431371 Al) employ the use of JV-acetyl-L-leucine, or of derivatives of chiral amino acids in general, for chiral resolution of the racemic amine of formula 2a and the subsequent use of the corresponding salt of formula 6 for synthesis of Apremilast of formula 1 {Scheme 2).

Besides the above mentioned ones, a number of asymmetrical syntheses of the desired enantiomer of formula (S)-2a have been described that use chiral catalysts of transition metals, e.g. rhodium (US2013/217919 Al; US2014/81032 Al). However, in economic terms, these procedures are not suitable for industrial production of (S -l-(3-ethoxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-2- (methylsulfonyl)-ethylamine of formula (S)-2a, or Apremilast of formula 1.

Disclosure of Invention

The invention provides a method of chiral resolution of the racemic amine of formula 2a by means of derivatives of tartaric acid of formula 3, a method of preparation, isolation and crystallization of the corresponding salts of formula 4a and their solvates from suitable solvents or their mixtures and, further, the use of salts of formula 4a in a process of preparing optically pure Apremilast of formula 1 {Scheme 1).

Suitable derivatives of tartaric acid of formula 3 for chiral resolution of the racemic amine of formula 2a are compounds wherein R 1 and R 2 are independently H, a C 1 -Ci2 alkyl, aryl or heteroaryl with one or more heteroatoms, wherein all these groups may be further substituted by any functional groups. For the purposes of this invention, the term "any functional group" refers to: (a) halogens, (b) hydroxy, alkoxy or aryloxy groups, (c) amino and nitro groups, (d) CHO and acyl groups (i.e. ketones), (e) derivatives of carboxylic acids. Advantageously, such derivatives can be used wherein R 1 and R 2 independently stand for acyl groups R 3 C(=0) (Figure 3), wherein R 3 is a Q-Cn alkyl, C 6 -C 14 aryl, a heteroaryl with one or more heteroatoms, wherein all these groups may be further substituted by any functional groups. The Y group in the derivatives of formula 3 can then be the hydroxyl OH, O- substituted hydroxyl OR 4 , wherein R 4 is any C Cie alkyl, C 6 -Ci 4 aryl, heteroaryl with one or more heteroatoms, wherein all these groups may be further substituted by any functional groups. The Y group in the derivatives of formula 3 further also stands for NR 5 R 6 amides, wherein R 5 and R 6 are independently H, a C r Ci6 alkyl, C 6 -C 14 aryl, heteroaryl with one or more heteroatoms, wherein all these groups can be further substituted by any functional groups, preferably by C 6 -C 14 aryls substituted by halogens in any position. The method of chiral resolution of the racemic amine of formula 2a by means of the derivatives of tartaric acid of formula 3 can also be generally applied to the benzyl amines of formula 2, wherein R 7 and R 8 are independently H, a Ci-C 12 alkyl or functional groups used for the rotection of phenols (esters, silyl-ethers and acetals or ketals).

(3) Y = OH, OR*, NR S R S

It has been surprisingly found out that the derivatives of tartaric acid of formula 3 used, preferably (i-.i?)-4-cWorotartranilic acid of formula (R,R)-3a, make it possible to isolate (5)-l- (3-ethoxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-2-(methylsulfonyl)-ethylamine of formula (S)-2a in a high yield, with a high chemical and enantiomeric purity of above 99%. The described isolation methods can be easily transferred to the industrial scale to obtain a sufficient amount of the key chiral intermediate of formula (5)-2a for commercial use in the synthesis of Apremilast of formula 1.

The derivatives of tartaric acid of formula 3 have the indisputable advantages of the possibility of using only about 0.5 molar equivalent of the chiral acid with respect to the amine of formula 2, of easy recycling for re-use, and also the possibility to carry out crystallization in water as the solvent. These all are significant innovative elements in terms of industrial production, its economy and environmental aspects.

Another clear advantage of the derivatives of tartaric acid of formula 3, preferably (i?,-¾)-4-cMorotartrariilic acid of formula (it,R)-3a, is the fact that the salts of formula (S)-4a, preferably especially the salt of formula (5)-4aa, can be directly used in the preparation method of Apremilast of formula 1 without the necessity to release the corresponding amine of formula S)-2a therefrom. From the point of view of industrial production and its economy, this fact also represents a substantial advantage.

Detailed description of the invention

The invention provides a method of chiral resolution of racemic amines of the general structure of formula 2 by means of derivatives of tartaric acid of formula 3 and the use thereof in the synthesis of Apremilast of formula 1. The racemic amines of the benzyl type of formula 2 can be various compounds wherein R 7 and R 8 are independently H, C C 12 alkyls or functional groups used to protect phenols (e.g., esters, silyl-ethers and acetals or ketals), preferably directly the racemic amine of formula 2a.

Suitable chiral derivatives of tartaric acid of formula 3 for chiral resolution of the racemic amine of formula 2a are compounds wherein R 1 and R 2 are independently H. a Ci-Cn alkyl, aryl or heteroaryl with one or more heteroatoms, wherein all these groups may be further substituted by any functional groups (in the sense of the previous definition). Advantageously, such derivatives can be used wherein R 1 and R 2 independently stand for R 3 C(=0) acyl groups, whereine R 3 is a Q-Cn alkyl, Ce-C 14 aryl, a heteroaryl with one or more heteroatoms and all these groups may be further substituted by any functional groups (in the sense of the previous definition). The Y group in the derivatives of formula 3 can then be the hydroxyl OH, O-substituted hydroxyl OR 4 , wherein R 4 is any Q-Cie alkyl, C 6 -C 14 aryl, heteroaryl with one or more heteroatoms, wherein all these groups may be further substituted by any functional groups. The Y group in the derivatives 3 further also stands for NR 5 R 6 amides, wherein R and R are independently H, a Ci-C 16 alkyl, C 6 -Ci 4 aryl, heteroaryl with one or more heteroatoms, wherein all these groups can be further substituted by any functional groups (in the sense of the previous definition), preferably by C 6 -C l4 aryls substituted by halogens in any position.

In the particular case of the racemic amine of formula 2a the derivatives of tartaric acid of formula (R,R)-3a and formula (R } R)-3b have proved to be especially suitable for chiral resolution. Both these acids are commercially available, namely also in the form of their optical antipodes of formula (S,S)-3& and formula (S,S)-3b and belong to ones of the cheapest resolution agents, which represents a significant advantage in terms of their prospective industrial use. (K,i?)-4-Chlorotartranilic acid of formula (R,R)-3& can also be easily prepared even in kilogram amounts from the natural isomer of tartaric acid - (R,R) t or L-(+)-tartaric acid - and 4-chloroaniline by processes described in literature (N. Huh, C. M. Thompson: Tetrahedron 1995, 51, 5935; T. Montzkat, E. Pindell, J. Matiskell: J. Org. Chem. 1968, 33, 3993).

The use of these acids makes it possible to isolate the respective salts of formula (S)- 4aa, or formula (S)-4ab, in both high chemical (up to 95% with respect to the theoretical content of formula (S)-2A in the racemic amine of formula 2a) and isomeric purities (ee >99%). The yield of the chiral resolution of the racemic amine of formula 2a by means of these two acids, the chemical and isomeric purity of the obtained salts strongly depend on the reaction conditions. Above all on the solvent, temperature, reaction/crystallization time, stoichiom ry and presence of other additives. The details ar

((S)-4ab)

((S)-4aa) described below for the example of the salt of formula (5)-4aa and its preparation from the racemic amine of formula 2 a and (i?,£)-4-chlorotaxtrariilic acid of formula (¾R -3a.

It has been surprisingly found out that, for very efficient chiral resolution of the racemic amine of formula 2a, there is not needed a complete molar equivalent of (R,R)-4- chlorotartranilic acid of formula (¾if)-3a but that 0.4 to 1.0 molar equivalent of formula (R,R)-3a is a sufficient amount, both high yield and high isomeric purity being maintained. Preferably, as low as a 0.5 to 0.65 molar equivalent of formula (2?,R)-3a can be used. The saving of ca. 1/2 of the chiral resolution agent represents a significant economic benefit for the resolution method of the racemic amine of formula 2a in the industrial scale.

As further unexpectedly found out, the yield and isomeric purity of the salt of formula (S)-4aa can be also influenced by the presence of other additives having the character of strong acids. They are typically strong mineral acids, such as: sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid, perchloric acid and hydrochloric and hydrobromic acid. However, strong organic acids can be equally used, e.g. formic acid or sulfonic acids. In process, safety and economic terms, hydrochloric acid, or more precisely its aqueous solutions, have turned out to be the most suitable.

To achieve the highest possible chemical yields and isomeric purities of the desired salt {3 -4aa, the stoichiometry of all the components is of essential importance, i.e. of the racemic amine 2a, (K,i? -4-cUorotartranilic acid of formula (R,R)-3a and hydrochloric acid HC1. As found out, the general molar ratio of formula ((R,R)-3a + HCl):(amine of formula 2a) should suitably be >1.0. Preferably, for this ratio to be 1 :1, the amount of (K,J? 4-cMorotartranilic acid of formula (R,R)-3a varies in the range of 0.5-0.65 molar equivalents and the amount of hydrochloric acid HC1 ranges between 0.45-0.6 molar equivalents.

The preparation of the crystalline salt of formula (S -4aa, as well as its possible subsequent recrystallization to increase its isomeric purity, can be carried out in various solvents, the correct selection of which also influences the yield and isomeric purity of the desired product. From the economic, safety, process and environmental point of view - and even from the point of view of yields and isomeric purity - the most advantageous solvent is water itself.

However, various organic solvents or their mixtures with water can be equally advantageously used. Preferred organic solvents comprise: 1) C C 6 aliphatic alcohols (preferably methanol and ethanol), 2) C 4 -C 12 ethers (preferably cyclic ethers such as: tetrahydrofuran, 2-memyltetrahydrofuran nebo dioxane), 3) C 3 -Cg ketones (preferably acetone or ethyl methyl ketone), 4) C3-C12 esters (preferably ethyl acetate), 5) C C 7 halogenated hydrocarbons (preferably dichloromethane, chloroform, saturated and unsaturated C2-chloro derivatives, chlorobenzene, dichlorobenzenes or trifluoromethyl benzene), 6) C5-C hydrocarbons (preferably aromatic hydrocarbons such as toluene, or cyclic hydrocarbons such as cyclohexane and its derivatives) and finally 7) nitrogenous derivatives of hydrocarbons and carboxylic acids (preferably nitro derivatives and amides, or nitriles of Ci-C6 carboxylic acids).

The actual preparation of the salt can be carried out in a wide temperature range. Beginning with low temperatures from -50°C (depending on the physical characteristics of the solvent used), across the room temperature up to the boiling point of the selected solvent or mixture of solvents (up to 150°C).

Although the formation of the salt of formula (S -4aa is a very fast process under all the above mentioned conditions, to achieve an optimum yield and isomeric purity of formula fS aa the reaction and crystallizing times are also important. As found out, the total reaction and crystallizing time should be suitably longer than 5 hours.

Concerning the method of chiral resolution of the racemic amine of formula 2a by means of (7f,i^-4-chlorotartranilic acid of formula (R^RJSa, the process wherein 1 molar equivalent of the racemic amine of formula 2a is reacted with 0.5-0.65 molar equivalent of fK,i?J-4-chlorotartranilic acid of formula (R,R)-3a and 0.45-0.6 molar equivalent of hydrochloric acid H in water as the solvent, at temperatures between 10 and 80°C for 2-72 hours has proved as the most advantageous in every respect.

Besides the clear benefit that (S)-l-(3-ethoxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-2-(methylsulfonyl) ethylamine (i?,,¾)-4-c orotartrariilate of formula (S)-4aa can be used directly for the synthesis of Apremilast of formula 1 (Scheme 1, Scheme 3), another substantial benefit of using this salt is the fact that it enables, in process terms, very easy recovery of the chiral resolution agent of formula (¾R)-3a after transformation of the salt of formula (S)-4aa to the respective free base of formula (S)-2a.

After releasing of the free amine of formula (S)-2a from the respective salt of formula CS^-4 , one can use any water-immiscible and sufficiently strong base. Such bases are e.g. hydroxides, alkoxides, carbonates and hydrogen carbonates of alkali metals, soluble hydroxides and alkoxides of alkaline earth metals, or tetraalkylarnmonium hydroxides. Preferably, they are especially NaOH, LiOH, OH, Na 2 C0 3 , NaHC0 3 , K 2 C0 3 , KHC0 3 or Ba(OH) 2 . The described method comprises mixing of the salt of formula (S)-4aa with one of the above mentioned bases in a mixture of water and in any water-immiscible solvent (Figure 6). The following compounds, e.g., can be used as suitable solvents: 1) C 4 -C 12 ethers (preferably aliphatic ethers or cyclic ethers: diethyl ether, diisopropyl ether, tert-butyl methyl ether, 2-methyltetrahydrofuran and the like), 2) water-immiscible C 4 -Cg ketones (preferably ethyl methyl ketone), 3) C 3 -C 12 esters (preferably Ci-C6 alkyl acetates), 4) C!-C 7 halogenated hydrocarbons (preferably dichloromethane, chloroform, saturated and unsaturated C2-chloro derivatives, chlorobenzene, dichlorobenzenes or trifluoromethyl benzene), 5) C5-C12 hydrocarbons (preferably aromatic hydrocarbons such as toluene, or cyclic hydrocarbons such as cyclohexane and its derivatives) and finally 6) water-immiscible nitrogenous derivatives of hydrocarbons. Another benefit of using fK,J?j-4-chlorotartranilic acid of formula (RJt)-3a. for chiral resolution of the racemic amine of formula 2a is also the fact that from the mother liquor after crystallization of the desired salt (S)-4aa. the remaining fraction of the desired chiral amine of formula (S)-2& can be easily isolated in its racemic form of formula 2a while the opposite enantiomer of formula (ft -2a is obtained at the same time in a high isomeric purity, up to 97% ee.

(S)-taa

crystalline j (R,R)-3a-Na

1 M NaOH/water

-2a HCI > (S)-2a HCI aqueous phase

+ {S)-4aa

organic solvent (fi)-2a > (S)-2a

mother liquor

organic phase evaporation

(fi>-2a > (S)-2a

crystalline « >30%

(rac)-2a (fl)-2a » {S)-2a

Cfystalline ee 0% mother liquor ee 65-97%

If the chiral resolution of the racemic amine of formula 2a is carried out under the conditions described above, the mother liquor can be, after the removing the desired salt of formula (S)-4aa by filtration, further processed and reused. An isomerically highly pure opposite isomer of formula (R)-2a can be obtained in this manner from the mother liquor, containing, besides a residual amount of the desired isomer of formula (S)-2z, the antipode of formula (R)-2a (both in the form of salts) in an isomeric purity of up to 97% ee. The base and water-immiscible organic solvents, used for the extraction of the mixture of free arnines of formula (R)-2a and formula (S)-2a, are completely identical to the compounds mentioned above for releasing of the amine of formula (S) -2a from the salt of formula (S)-4aa. Crystallization of the isomeric mixture of the amines of formula 2a with prevailing content of formula (R)-2a (Figure 7) can be conducted in various solvents, preferably in methanol, ethanol, acetone, ethyl acetate or tetrahydrofuran. To synthesize Apremilast of formula 1, either directly (i?,if)-4-chlorotartranilate of (-?)- l-(3-ethoxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-2-(methylsulfonyl) ethylamine of formula (S 4aa, or the corresponding free amine of formula $>-2a, released from this salt under the conditions described above {Scheme 3), can be used.

Scheme 3

Both the have their advantages from the process and economic point of view. Direct use of the salt of formula ( S -4aa allows to reduce the number of process operations and - which is no less important - to isolate pure Apremilast 1 in a very high yield (85%), higher than in the case of the previously described salt of formula 6 {Scheme 2; yield 75%). If the free amine of formula (S)-2a is first isolated from the salt of formula (S)-4aa. (using the above mentioned procedures) and is subsequently subjected to the reaction with the anhydride 5 {Scheme 3), the number of process operations is higher, but on the other hand, the yield of the last reaction is higher (up to 89%) and in addition, the chiral resolution agent: (R,R)A- chlorotartranilic acid of formula (R,R)-3a can be almost quantitatively recovered.

The condensation itself of the chiral amine of formula ($)-2a, or its salts of formula (S -4aa, or formula (S)-4ab with the anhydride of formula 5 {Scheme 3) can be accomplished by their heating in a solution of a suitable organic solvent, in an aqueous solvent, or in mixtures of water with suitable organic solvents. To ensure trouble-free run of the reaction, both the reactants should be heated up to a temperature of >50°C, preferably to a temperature of 90-140°C. Especially C2-C5 carboxylic acids, preferably acetic acid, nitriles of C 2 -C 5 carboxylic acids, preferably acetonitrile, and polar aprotic solvents such as dimethyl formamide, dimethyl acetamide, dimethyl sulfoxide, have proved to be suitable organic solvents. Besides them, hydrocarbons, aromatic hydrocarbons or their halogen derivatives can be used. Preferably, e.g,. toluene, xylenes, α,α,α-trifluorotoluene and n-butyl chloride.

The invention is clarified in a more detailed way using the examples below. The examples, which illustrate the improvement of the procedure in accordance with the invention, only have an illustrative character and do not restrict the scope of the invention in any respect.

Experimental part

High-performance liquid chromatography (THOPLC)

The portion of the enantiomers of (R)- and (5)-l-(3-ethoxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-2-

(methylsulfonyl)-ethylamine of formula (R)-2a and formula (5)-2a in their respective salts and mother liquors as well as the enantiomeric purity of all the intermediates and products were determined with the use of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC equipped with a UV VIS detector). The analyses were conducted in a column with an AmyCoat® stationary phase (250x4.6 mm); 5 μηι stationary phase) with the use of a hexane/2- propanol/diethylamine (65/35/1) mixture as the mobile phase (temperature 15°C; flow rate 0.8 ml/min; detection at 280 nm). Before the analysis, all the samples were dissolved in 2- propanol and diluted with hexane before the injection.

The term "room temperature" refers, for the purposes of the text below and above, to the temperature range from 22 to 26°C. Unless indicated otherwise, the term "equivalent" (or abbreviated "equiv.") always means "molar ratio" in the text and tables below. The indication ee means "enantiomeric excess" (in percent) of a pure isomer (R or S) in its mixture with the racemate (RS) mixture, and its calculation is based on the equation: ee = (\R - S\)/(R + S}- 100 = \%R - %Sj [%].

Examples

Example 1

Chiral resolution of the racemic amine of formula 2a with the use of various resolution agents (Table 1)

10 mg of the racemic amine of formula 2a is weighed into a reaction vial, 100 μΐ of the respective (methanol, ethanol, acetone, acetonitrile, ethyl acetate, toluene, chloroform, tetrahydrofuran, 2-methyltetrahydrofuran, or 1,4-dioxane, or their mixtures with water) solvent is added and the mixture is moderately heated up until all the amine of formula 2a is dissolved. Then, 0.5, or 1.0 molar equivalent of the respective resolution agent is added and the mixture is reheated to produce a clear solution. The reaction vial is closed and left to cool down to the room temperature. The formation of possible crystalline salts is monitored after 2, 4, 6, 24 and after 48 hours. Possible crystalline material and mother liquors are analyzed by means of HPLC.

Table t. (The various experiments are identified as: APR-number; no cr st. = no occurrence of any crystalline material was observed; the % figure refers to the chemical yield of the salt of formula 4a relative to the theoretical content of the enantiomer of formula (S)-2a; er = ratio of formula (S)/(R)-4a; the use of possible other solvents is specified directly for the particular experiments; successful experiments are identified by bold type.)

Example 2

Chiral resolution of the racemic amine of formula 2a with the use of (i? )J R)-4-chlorotartranilic acid of formula (R,R)-3a under various conditions {Table 2)

10 mg of the racemic amine of formula 2 a is weighed into a reaction vial, 100 μΐ of the respective solvent is added, or possibly also the corresponding amount of hydrochloric acid, and the corresponding amount of (-¾,^)-4-cWorotarttanilic acid of formula (R,R)-3a. A crystallizing seed of (i?,i?)-4-chloro-tartranilate of (S)-l-(3-ethoxy-4-methoxyphenyi)-2- (methylsulfonyl)-ethylamine of formula (S)-4aa is added to the clear solution produced after heating up, the vial is closed and left to cool down to the room temperature. The produced crystals are aspirated and analyzed directly by means of HPLC.

(fi,fl)-4-Ch!oroanthranilic acid

259.5 g mol

Yield [%]

relative to

Yield [%]

Equivalent Experiment the

Solvent er relative to

of <¾R -3a no. theoretical

R,R 3a content of

<S 2a

0.43 APR-75 1/99 73 77

Dioxane 0.45 APR-80 11/89 83 84

(wet - 0.48% H 2 0) 0.47 APR-81 17/83 79 77

lOx 0.5 APR-76 17/83 -

1 APR-77 14/86

Dioxane 0.43 APR-83 21/79 74 (dry)

lOx

Dioxane 0.43 APR-88 0.5/99.5 67

(wet - 1.0% H 2 O)

0.5 APR-89 2/98 77

lOx

Dioxane

(wet - 2.0% H 2 0) 0.5 APR-90 1/99 73

lOx

Dioxane

(wet - 2.0% H 2 0) 0.5 APR-93 28/72 95

7x

Dioxane

(wet - 2.85% H 2 0) 0.5 APR-92 31/69 72

7x

Tetrahydrofuran

(wet - 2.0% ¾0) 0.5 APR-94 2/98 69

lOx

2- ethyltetrahydro

furan 0.5 APR-95 17/83 87

(wet - 2.0% H 2 O)

lOx

Methanol - ¾0

9:1 0.5 APR-86 42/58 73

lOx

H 2 0

0.5 APR-82 29/71 112

lOx

¾o

0.43 APR-84 35/65 67

lOx

H 2 0 + 0.5 equiv. without a HC1 0.5 APR-87 7/93 67 crystallizing lOx seed ¾0 + 0.5 equiv.

HC1 0.5 APR-96 2.5/97.5 67

lOx

H 2 0 + 0.53 equiv.

HCI 0.5 APR-98 2/98 69

lOx

H 2 0 + 0.55 equiv.

HCI 0.5 APR-91 2/98 64

lOx

In a larger scale 3.0 ε 2a / water ( mechanical stirrer)

H 2 0 + 0.53

equiv. HCI 0.5 APR-100 0.5/99.5 77

lOx

Table 2 (The various experiments are identified as: APR-number; the yields refer to the isolated yields of the salt of formula (S)-4a&; er = ratio of formula (_S)/(J?)-4aa; the amount of the used solvent is specified as the volume multiple of the weight of the racemic amine of formula 2a - e.g. 10 x means 1 g of formula 2a per 10 ml of the respective solvent; the best results are highlighted in red.)

Example 3

(i?,i?)-4-crdorotartramlate of (S)- l-(3-ethoxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-2-(methylsuIfonyl)- ethylamine of formula (S)-4aa

The racemic amine 2a (3.00 g; 10.97 mmol; 1 equiv.) is dissolved in a mixture of 242 ml of water and 5.82 ml of a 1M aqueous solution of hydrochloric acid (0.53 equiv.) at 60- 70°C in a flask equipped with a mechanical stirrer. Then, under continuous stirring, the amount of 1.43 g (5.485 mmol; 0.5 equiv.) of (if,.S)-4-chlorotartranilic acid of formula RJR)- 3a is added and heating continues for another 10-15 min. A crystallizing seed of the salt of formula (S)-4aa is added to the resulting clear solution at the same temperature. The mixture is left to slowly cool down to the room temperature and the stirring continues overnight. The resulting crystals are aspirated, washed with water (2 x 2 ml) and dried at the room temperature. This provides 2.25 g of the product of formula (5)-4aa (yield 77%), ee 99.0% (HPLC), melting point 186°C (DSC). 1H-NMR (DMSO-i¾): 1.33 (t, 3H), J=6.95 Hz; 2.90 (s, 3H); 3.42-3.56 (m, 2H); 3.74 (s, 3H); 3.99-4.07 (m, 2H); 4.27 (d, 1H), J-2.11; 4.36 (d, 1H), J=2.15; 4.37-4.42 (m, ΓΗ); 6.89-6.97 (m, 2H); 7.09 (d, 1H), J=1.35; 7.35 (d, 2H), J=8.91; 7.77 (d, 2H), J=8.90; 9.76 (s, 1H). I3 C- NMR (DMSO-c¼) 6: 11.78; 41.76; 50.49; 55.52; 60.48; 63.69; 72.04; 73.55; 111.67; 111.69; 119.05; 121.02; 126.94; 128.46; 134.47; 137.54; 147.97; 148.51; 171.21; 173.71.

Example 4

(i?,iy-4-chlorotartranilate of (S)-l -(3-ethoxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-2-(methylsulfonyl)- ethylamine of formula (S)-4aa

The racemic amine 2a (1.50 g; 5.49 mmol; 1 equiv.) is dissolved in a mixture of 12.53 ml of water and 2.47 ml of a 1M aqueous solution of hydrochloric acid (0.45 equiv.) at 60- 70°C in a flask equipped with a mechanical stirrer. Then, under continuous stirring, the amount of 0.926 g (3.134 mmol; 0.65 equiv.) of (i-^j^-chlorotartranilic acid of formula (R,R)-3a is added and heating continues for another 10-15 min. A crystallizing seed of the salt of formula ( * S)-4aa is added to the resulting clear solution at the same temperature. The mixture is left to slowly cool down to the room temperature and the stirring continues overnight. The resulting crystals are aspirated, washed with water (3 x 3 ml) and dried at the temperature of 46-50 °C. This provides 1.34 g of the product of formula (S)-4aa (yield 92%), ee >99% (HPLC) } melting point 186°C (DSC).

Example 5

Recrystallization of of (5)-l-(3-ethoxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-2- (methylsulfonyl)-ethyl-amine of formula (5)-4aa from water (initial ee 92%)

The diastereoisomeric salt of formula (S)-4aa (3.50 g; ee 92%) is dissolved in 35 ml of distilled water in a hot state and then, under stirring, it is left to cool down to the room temperature. At this temperature it is stirred for another 2 hours. The resulting crystals are aspirated, washed with water (3 3 ml) and dried at 46-50°C. This provides 2.98 g (yield 85%) of the product of formula (S)-4aa at ee >99%. Example 6

Recrystallization of (i-^^-chlorotartranilate of (S)-l-(3-ethoxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-2- (memylsulfonyl)-emyl-amine of formula (S)-4aa from water (initial ee 96.6%)

The diastereoisomeric salt of formula (S)-4aa (1.265 g; ee 96.6%) is dissolved in 10.2 ml of distilled water in a hot state and then, under stirring, it is left to cool down to the room temperature. At the room temperature it is stirred for another 2 hours. The resulting crystals are aspirated, washed with water (3 x 1 ml) and dried at 46-50°C. This provides 1.066 g (yield 84%) of the product of formula (5)-4aa at ee >99%. Example 7

Recrystallization of (-?,i?)-4-cHorotartranilate of (S)-l-(3-ethoxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-2- (methylsulfonyl)-ethyl-amine of formula (S)-4aa from methanol (initial ee 95%)

The diastereoisomeric salt of formula (5)-4aa (4.00 g; ee 95%) is dissolved in 220 ml of methanol in a hot state and then, under stirring, it is left to cool down to the room temperature. At the room temperature it is stirred for another 2 hours. The resulting crystals are aspirated, washed with methanol (3 x 10 ml) and dried at 46-50°C. This provides 2.84 g (yield 71%) of the product of formula (S)-4aa at ee 99.9% and the chemical purity of 99.97% (HPLC). Example 8

(i?,^)-Di- toluoyl-tartrate of (S)-l -(3-ethoxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-2-(methylsulfonyl)- ethylamine of formula (S)-4ab

The racemic amine 2a (3.00 g; 10.97 mmol) is dissolved in 26 ml of MeOH at 50-65°C in a flask fitted with a mechanical stirrer. Then, under continuous stirring, the amount of 4.44 g (10.97 mmol) of (i-,i-)-di- ?-toluoyl-tartaric acid monohydrate of formula (R,R)-3b is added and heating continues for another 10-15 min. A crystallizing seed of the salt of formula (5)- 4ab is added to the resulting clear solution at the same temperature. The mixture is left to slowly cool down to the room temperature and the stirring continues overnight. The resulting crystals are aspirated, washed with icy methanol (2 x 2 ml) and dried at the room temperature. This provides 4.27 g of the product of formula (S)-4ab (yield 59%), ee 30.0% (HPLC). Example 9

Isolation of free (S)-l-(3-ethoxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-2-(memylsulfonyl)-ethylamin e of formula (5)-2a

The diastereoisomeric salt of formula (S)-4aa from Example 5 (1.27 g; 2.38 mmol; ee >99%) is stirred up in a mixture of a 1M aqueous solution of NaOH (8.70 ml; 8.7 mmol) and 20 ml of dichloromethane at the room temperature. After 20 minutes the stirring is stopped, the organic phase is separated and the aqueous phase is extracted with 2 x 20 ml of dichloromethane. The joined organic phases are dried with anhydrous Na 2 S0 4 and subsequently evaporated on an evaporator at a reduced pressure. This provides 0.61 g (yield 94%) of the pure amine of formula (S)-2a as a white solid substance (ee 99.4%).

Example 10

Isolation of free (5)-l-(3-emoxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-2-(memylsulfonyl)-emylamine of formula (5)-2a

The diastereoisomeric salt of formula (S)-4aa from Example 5 (1.27 g; 2.38 mmol; ee

>99%) is stirred up in a mixture of 10 ml of an aqueous solution of Na 2 C0 3 (750 mg; 7.08 mmol) and 20 ml of ethyl acetate at 35°C. After 30 minutes the stirring is stopped, the organic phase is separated and the aqueous phase is extracted with 2 x 20 ml of ethyl acetate. The joined organic phases are dried with anhydrous Na 2 S0 and subsequently evaporated on an evaporator at a reduced pressure. This provides 0.58 g (yield 89 %) of the pure amine of formula (S)-2a as a white solid substance (ee 99.3%).

Example 11

Regeneration of (_¾,i?)-4-chlorotartranilic acid of formula (R,R)-3a

The aqueous phase from Example 9 is acidified with concentrated aqueous HC1

(approx. 1.0 ml) to pH = 1 while being stirred, the separated precipitate is aspirated and washed with 3 x 1 ml of water. After air-drying the amount of 0.47 g (yield 75%) of the pure acid of formula (R,R)-3a is obtained (melting point 191-193°C; .[ ] D : + 106.2 (c 1, MeOH)). Example 12

Isolation of (rac)-l-(3-ethoxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-2-(memylsulfonyl)emylamin e of formula 2a and (i?)-l-(3-emoxy-4-memoxyphenyl)-2-(memylsmfonyl)emylamine of formula (R)-2a from the mother liquors after crystallization of the compound of formula (S)-4aa

Pure salt of formula (5)-4aa is obtained from 3.0 g (10.98 mmol) of the racemic amine of formula 2a through the method described in Example 4. The amount of 0.93 g of NaOH (23.3 mmol) is added to the aqueous mother liquors and the released amine (mixture of (R)-2a > (S)-2a) is extracted with dichloromethane (3x 20 ml). The organic phase is dried with anhydrous Na 2 S0 4 and subsequently evaporated on an evaporator at a reduced pressure. This provides 1.50 g of a mixture of (R)-2a > (S)-2a {ee 54%). The white solid substance obtained this way is dissolved in 12 ml of methanol in a hot state, inoculated with the racemic amine of formula 2a and stirred overnight at the room temperature. After aspiration of the produced crystals and washing with methanol (2x 1 ml) the amount of 0.48 g (yield 70%) of the racemic amine of formula 2a {ee 0%) is obtained. Evaporation of the mother liquors can provide the compound of formula (R)-2a (1.01 g; ee 79%)

Example 13

(5)- {2-[ 1 -(3 -ethoxy-4-memoxyphenyl)-2-memylsulfonylemyl]-4-acetylaminois oindoline- 1 ,3- dione of formula 1

14.92 g (28 mmol; >99 % ee) of (5)-l-(3-ethoxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-2-

(memylsulfonyl)-emylammoni^ of formula (<S)-4aa, 6.05 g (29.4 mmol) of 3-acetamidophtalic anhydride of formula 5 and 125 ml of glacial acetic acid were placed into a 250 ml flask. The mixture was refluxed overnight and then cooled down to <50°C. Then, the solution was concentrated in vacuum and the residue was dissolved in 400 ml of ethyl acetate. The obtained solution was washed with water (2 x 125 ml), saturated aqueous solution of NaHC03 (2 x 125 ml), salt brine (2 x 125 ml) and dried with sodium sulphate. The solvent was evaporated at a reduced pressure and the rest was then crystallized from a mixture of 75 ml of ethanol and 37.5 ml of acetone. The separated crystals were aspirated on frit and washed with ethanol (2 x 50 ml). The product was dried at a reduced pressure (0.5 kPa) at 60°C until a constant weight was achieved, providing 9.55 g of the product of formula 1 (yield 74%, >99 % ee, HPLC 99.2%).

1H-NMR (CDC1 3 ) δ: 1.46 (t, 3H); 2.26 (s, 3H); 2.87 (s, 3H); 3.65-3.78 (dd, 1H); 3.84 (s, 3H); 4.10 (q, 2H); 4.48-4.62 (dd, 1H); 5.84-5.90 (dd, 1H); 6.79-6.89 (d, 1H); 7.03-7.15 (m, 2H); 7.44-7.52 (d, 1H); 7.59-7.71 (m, 1H); 8.70-8.80 (d s 1H); 9.45 (s, 1H). 13 C-NMR (CDC1 3 ) δ: 14.69; 24.96; 41.64; 48.57; 54.51; 55.95; 64.54; 111.47; 112.42; 115.13; 118.24; 120.31; 124.98; 129.26; 131.06; 136.13; 137.64; 148.66; 149.78; 167.50; 169.16; 169.52. Example 14

(S)-{2-[l -(3-ethoxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-2-methylsulfonylethyl] -4-acetylaminoisoindoline-l ,3- dione of formula 1

14.92 g (28 mmol; >99 % ee) of (5)-l-(3-ethoxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-2- (me&yls fonyl)-emylammoniimi-(i2^^ of formula (5)-4aa, 6.05 g (29.4 mmol) of 3-acetamidophtalic anhydride of formula 5 and 125 ml of glacial acetic acid were placed into a 250 ml flask. The mixture was refluxed for 24 h and then cooled down to <50°C. Then, the solution was concentrated in vacuum and the residue was dissolved in 400 ml of ethyl acetate. The obtained solution was washed with water (2 x 125 ml), saturated aqueous solution of NaHCC«3 (2 x 125 ml), salt brine (2 x 125 ml) and dried with sodium sulphate. The solvent was evaporated at a reduced pressure and the rest was then crystallized from a mixture of ethanol - acetone 2:1 (by volume) The separated crystals were aspirated on frit and washed with ethanol (2 x 50 ml). The product was dried at a reduced pressure (0.5 kPa) at 60 °C until a constant weight was achieved, providing 11.02 g of the product of formula 1 (yield 85%, >99% ee, HPLC 99.7%).

Example 15

(iS)-{ 2 -[ 1 -(3 -ethoxy-4 -methoxyphenyl) -2-methylsulfonyl ethyl] -4 -acetylaminoisoindoline-1,3- dione of formula 1

7.65 g (28 mmol; 99.4% ee) of (5)-l-(3-emoxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-2-(methylsulfonyl)- ethylamine of formula (S)-2a (see Example 9 6.05 g (29.4 mmol) of 3-acetamidophtalic anhydride of formula 5 and 125 ml of glacial acetic acid were placed into a 250ml flask. The mixture was refluxed overnight and then cooled down to <50°C. Then, the solution was concentrated at a reduced pressure and the residue was dissolved in 400 ml of ethyl acetate. The obtained solution was washed with water (2 x 125 ml), saturated aqueous solution of NaHCC"3 (2 x 125 ml), salt brine (2 x 125 ml) and dried with sodium sulphate. The solvent was evaporated at a reduced pressure and the rest was crystallized from a mixture of 75 ml of ethanol and 37.5 ml of acetone. The separated crystals were isolated by filtration on frit and washed with ethanol (2 x 50 ml). The product was dried at a reduced pressure (0.5 kPa) at 60°C until a constant weight was achieved, providing 9.56 g of the product of formula 1 (yield 74 %, >99% ee, HPLC 99.4%).

Example 16

(^-{2-[l-(3-emoxy-4-memoxyphenyl)-2-methylsulfonylemyl]-4 -acetylaminoisom

dione of formula 1

3.17 g (11,6 mmol; 99.4 % ee) of (S)-l-(3-ethoxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-2- (methylsulfonyl)-ethylamine of formula (<S)-2a (see Example 9), 2.50 g (12.2 mmol) of 3- acetamidophtalic anhydride of formula 5 and 52 ml of glacial acetic acid were placed into a 250 ml flask. The mixture was refluxed for 3 h and cooled down to 20°C. After that, 4 x 25 ml of water were gradually added, under continuous stirring the mixture was inoculated with crystals of Apremilast of formula 1 and stirred at 20 °C. The separated crystals were aspirated, washed with a mixture of acetic acid - water (volume ratio 2:5) and dried at a reduced pressure. The amount of 4.75 g of yellowish crystals of the product of formula 1 was obtained (yield 89%, >99% ee, HPLC 99.1 %).

Example 17

(S)- { 2-[ 1 -(3 -emoxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-2-mem^

dione of formula 1

Apremilast of formula 1 was prepared from the salt of formula (5)-4ab {Example 8) and 3-acetarn dophtalic anhydride of formula 5 according to the procedure described in Example 14.

4.12 g (6,25 mmol; 30 % ee) of (J?,i?)-di-^-toluoyl-tartrate of (S)-l-(3-ethoxy-4- methoxyphenyl)-2-(methylsulfonyl)-ethylamine of formula (5)-4ab, 1.35 g (6.56 mmol) of 3- acetamidophtalic anhydride of formula 5 and 25 ml of glacial acetic acid were placed into a 50 ml flask. The mixture was refluxed for 24 h and then cooled down to 40°C. Then, the solution was concentrated in vacuum and the residue was dissolved in 100 ml of ethyl acetate. The obtained solution was washed with water (2 x 30 ml), saturated aqueous solution of NaHC(½ (2 x 30 ml), salt brine (2 x 30 ml) and dried with sodium sulphate. The solvent was evaporated at a reduced pressure and the rest was then crystallized from a mixture of ethanol - acetone 2:1 (by volume) The separated crystals were aspirated on frit and washed with ethanol (2 10 ml). The product was dried at a reduced pressure (0.5 kPa) at 60°C until a constant weight was achieved. This way, 2.39 g of the product of formula 1 was obtained (yield 83%; ee 30%»; HPLC 99.7%).