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Title:
PROCESS FOR THE PREPARATION OF 7-AMINO SYN 3,5-DIHYDROXY HEPTANOIC ACID DERIVATIVES, INTERMEDIATES THEREOF AND METHODS FOR THEIR PREPARATION
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2003/004455
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
The invention relates to synthesis methods for the preparation of the intermediates, which are suitable for the preparation of statin derivatives, especially to synthesis methods of the intermediate of formula (VI) wherein R¿a?' and R¿c?' are each independently of the other hydrogen or hydroxy-protecting group or together are a bridging hydroxy-protecting group, and R¿b? is a carboxy-protecting group, which methods are carried out by conversion of the intermediate of formula (XVI) wherein R¿a?' and R¿c?' are each independently of the other hydrogen or a hydroxy-protecting group, R* and R** are each independently of the other hydrogen or an amide-protecting group, and R¿b? is a carboxy-protecting group; which methods proceed to further intermediates and methods for their preparation.

Inventors:
OEHRLEIN REINHOLD (DE)
BAISCH GABRIELE (DE)
KIRNER HANS JOERG (CH)
BIENEWALD FRANK (FR)
BURKHARDT STEPHAN (CH)
STUDER MARTIN (CH)
Application Number:
PCT/EP2002/007308
Publication Date:
January 16, 2003
Filing Date:
July 02, 2002
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
CIBA SC HOLDING AG (CH)
OEHRLEIN REINHOLD (DE)
BAISCH GABRIELE (DE)
KIRNER HANS JOERG (CH)
BIENEWALD FRANK (FR)
BURKHARDT STEPHAN (CH)
STUDER MARTIN (CH)
International Classes:
C07C67/307; C07B53/00; C07B61/00; C07C67/31; C07C69/67; C07C69/675; C07C69/708; C07C69/716; C07C69/732; C07C69/738; C07C227/06; C07C227/16; C07C227/32; C07C229/22; C07C231/02; C07C235/04; C07C235/06; C07C235/74; C07C247/12; C07D207/34; C12P7/62; (IPC1-7): C07C227/32; C07C229/22; C07C235/04; C07C235/74
Domestic Patent References:
WO1999032434A11999-07-01
Foreign References:
EP0385733A21990-09-05
US5599954A1997-02-04
EP0436851A11991-07-17
EP0352864A21990-01-31
Other References:
ROY R ET AL: "CHEMENZYMATIC SYNTHESIS OF A C5-CHIRAL BUILDING BLOCK: A SUBSTRATE MODIFICATION APPROACH" TETRAHEDRON LETTERS, ELSEVIER SCIENCE PUBLISHERS, AMSTERDAM, NL, vol. 28, no. 42, 1987, pages 4935-4938, XP001038113 ISSN: 0040-4039
BROOKS D W ET AL: "REMOTE SUBSTITUENT EFFECTS IN MICROBIAL REDUCTIONS OF 3-KETOGLUTARATE AND 3 KETOADIPATE ESTERS" TETRAHEDRON LETTERS, ELSEVIER SCIENCE PUBLISHERS, AMSTERDAM, NL, vol. 25, no. 41, 1984, pages 4623-4626, XP001038115 ISSN: 0040-4039
DATABASE CROSSFIRE BEILSTEIN [Online] Beilstein Institut zur Förderung der Chemischen Wissenschaften, Frankfurt am Main, DE; Database accession no. reaction ID 225285 XP002217821 & BAUDRENGHIEN: CHEM. ZENTRALBL.; GE; 100; I, 1929, 2966,
DATABASE CROSSFIRE BEILSTEIN [Online] Beilstein Institut zur Förderung der Chemischen Wissenschaften, Frankfurt am Main, DE; Database accession no. BRN 6798562, 6801505 XP002186065 & LECLERC, R.; UGUEN, D.: TETRAHEDRON LETT., vol. 35, no. 13, 1994, pages 1999-2002,
DATABASE CROSSFIRE BEILSTEIN [Online] Beilstein Institut zur Förderung der Chemischen Wissenschaften, Frankfurt am Main, DE; Database accession no. BRN 4322437 XP002218020 & YAMAMOTO, YUKIO ET AL.: AGRIC. BIOL. CHEM., vol. 54, no. 12, 1990, pages 3269-74,
DATABASE CROSSFIRE BEILSTEIN [Online] Beilstein Institut zur Förderung der Chemischen Wissenschaften, Frankfurt am Main, DE; Database accession no. Reaction ID 1962247 XP002218021 & NOVAK, LAJOS ET AL.: LIEBIGS ANN. CHEM., 2, 1992, pages 145-58,
DATABASE CROSSFIRE BEILSTEIN [Online] Beilstein Institut zur Förderung der Chemischen Wissenschaften, Frankfurt am Main, DE; Database accession no. reaction ID 2261529 XP002218022 & ROSEN, TERRY ET AL.: J. ORG. CHEM., vol. 49, no. 19, 1984, pages 3657-59,
DATABASE CROSSFIRE BEILSTEIN [Online] Beilstein Institut zur Förderung der Chemischen Wissenschaften, Frankfurt am Main, DE; Database accession no. BRN 3567301 XP002218023 & MONTEIRO, JULIETA ET AL.: SYNTH. COMMUN., vol. 20, no. 3, 1990, pages 315-19,
DATABASE CROSSFIRE BEILSTEIN [Online] Beilstein Institut zur Förderung der Chemischen Wissenschaften, Frankfurt am Main, DE; Database accession no. BRN 6373749, 6374676 XP002218024 & OZEGOWSKI, RUEDIGER ET AL.: LIEBIGS ANN. CHEM. 7, 1993, pages 805-08,
BAUMANN K L ET AL: "THE CONVERGENT SYNTHESIS OF CI-981, AN OPTICALLY ACTIVE, HIGHLY POTENT, TISSUE SELECTIVE INHIBITOR OF HMG-COA REDUCTASE" TETRAHEDRON LETT, vol. 33, no. 17, 21 April 1992 (1992-04-21), pages 2283-2284, XP000608147 ISSN: 0040-4039
M. A. WILLIAMS ET AL.: "Hemiketal Formation and Subsequent Intramolecular Acylation of an N-Hydroxy-.beta.-lactam" J. ORG. CHEM., vol. 56, no. 3, 1991, pages 1293-96, XP002218019
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Birde, Patrick J. (One Broadway New York, NY, US)
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Claims:
What is claimed is:
1. A process for the preparation of the intermediate of formula VI wherein Ra'and R'are each independently of the other hydrogen or a hydroxyprotecting group or together are a bridging hydroxyprotecting group, and Rb is a carboxyprotecting group, which is suitable for the preparation of statin derivatives, which process is carried out by conversion of the intermediate of formula XVI wherein Ra'and R'are each independently of the other hydrogen or a hydroxyprotecting group, R* and R** are each independently of the other hydrogen or an amideprotecting group, and Rb is a carboxyprotecting group; wherein compound of formula XVI is prepared by a process which comprises the preparation of a a compound of formula I wherein X is halogen, acyloxy, activated hydrocarbyloxy, activated hydrocarbylthio or <BR> <BR> N (CH3) OCH3, Ra is hydrogen or a hydroxyprotecting group and Rb is a carboxyprotecting group, wherein compound of formula I is prepared by conversion a compound of formula XI wherein Ra is a hydroxyprotecting group and Rb is a carboxyprotecting group, into the corresponding compound of formula I using a reagent that introduces the radical X.
2. A process according to claim 1, wherein the compound of formula Xi is prepared by hydrolysing a compound of formula Xll wherein Ra is a hydroxyprotecting group, Rb is a carboxyprotecting group and Rd is hydrocarbyl, Rb and Rd preferably being identical, by means of an enantioselective catalyst, with removal of the radical Rd, the corresponding compound of formula XI being obtained directly, the compound of formula Xll in turn being obtained by reacting a glutaric acid derivative of formula XIII wherein Rb and Rd are as defined for compounds of formula XII, by introduction of a hydroxy protecting group using the corresponding reagent suitable for the introduction of the protecting group.
3. A process, especially according to claim 1, comprise the conversion of a compound of formula I wherein X is halogen, acyloxy, activated hydrocarbyloxy, activated hydrocarbylthio orN (CH3) OCH3, Ra is hydrogen or a hydroxyprotecting group and Rb is a carboxy protecting group into an amide of formula 1* wherein Ré in hydrogen or a hydroxyprotecting group, Rb'is hydrogen or a carboxy protecting group and R* and R** are each independently of the other hydrogen or an amide protecting group, preferably alkyl or substituted alkyl ; which compound can then be converted to compound of formula XVI already described above in claim 1; the conversion is carried out of formula 1* wherein Rcl is hydrogen (obtainable, if necessary, from the compound of formula l* wherein Ré in a hydroxyprotecting group, by removal of protecting groups) and Rb', R* and R** are as defined for the compound of formula l*, preferably at least one of the radicals R* and R** being an amideprotecting group is converted by reaction in the presence of a strong base with a compound of formula XX wherein Rb is a carboxyprotecting group, to form a compound of formula XV wherein R* and R** are as defined for compounds of formula l*, R :'is hydrogen and Rb is a carboxyprotecting group; that compound is then reduced diastereoselectively to form a syn diol of formula XVI wherein Ra'and R'are hydrogen; or, after subsequent introduction of protecting groups, Ra' and Rc'are each independently of the other hydrogen or a hydroxyprotecting group, with the proviso that at least one of the radicals is such a protecting group, or Ra'and R'together are a bridging hydroxyprotecting group; R* and R** are as defined for the compound of formula 1*, preferably at least one of them being an amideprotecting group; and Rb is a carboxy protecting group; the resulting compound of formula XVI is then converted into a compound of formula VI wherein Ra'and R'are each independently of the other hydrogen or a hydroxyprotecting group or together are a bridging hydroxyprotecting group, and Rb is a carboxyprotecting group, by reduction and removal of protecting groups R* and R**, if present; and in the processes mentioned above, at any stage, even where not explicitly mentioned, if necessary one or more or all of the protecting groups present in the compounds of formulae l*, I, VI, XI to XIII, XV, XVI and/or XX in question are removed or one or more or all of the functional groups that are not to participate in a reaction, or that would interfere with the reaction, are converted into protected groups by the introduction of suitable protecting groups (especially hydroxyprotecting groups and/or carboxyprotecting groups), and it being possible for the compounds of formulae 1*, I, VI, XI to Xlil, XV, XVI and/or XX, where salt forming groups are present and the reaction in question is not impaired, also to be in salt form.
4. A process, especially according to any of the preceding claims 1 to 3, which comprises the diastereoselective reduction of a compound of formula XV wherein R* and R** are each independently of the other hydrogen or an amideprotecting group, R,'is hydrogen and Rb is a carboxyprotecting group, preferably R* and R** are benzyl, R.'is hydrogen and Rb is terbutyl ; a) with a mixture of triethylborane or diethylborane methoxide with sodium borhydride, or b) which reaction is carried out as homogeneous reduction with hydrogen in the presence of a homogeneous metal catalyst, or c) which reaction is carried out as heterogeneous reduction with hydrogen in the presence of a heterogeneous platinum catalyst with an alkali metal or an alkaline earth metal salt, especially with an alkalineearth metal salt, and more especially with magnesium acetate, to form a syndiol compound of formula XVI wherein R* and R** are benzyl, Ré'ils hydrogen and Rb is terbutyl and Ra is hydrogen.
5. A process, especially according to any of the preceding claim 4, which comprises a diastereoselective reduction of a coumpound of formula XV wherein R* and R** are as defined for compounds of formula l*, Rc'is hydrogen and Rb is a carboxyprotecting group, preferably wherein R* and R** are benzyl, Rc'is hydrogen and Rb is tertbutyl ; with hydrogen in the presence of a heterogeneous platinum catalyst on carbon and magnesium acetate.
6. A compound of formula l* wherein R,'is hydrogen or a hydroxyprotecting group, Rb'is hydrogen or a carboxy protecting group and R* and R** are each independently of the other hydrogen or phenyl lower alkyl.
7. A compound of formula 1* according to claim 6 wherein R,'is hydrogen or lower alkanol, especially acetyl, or lower alkoxylower alkanol, especially methoxyacetyl ; Rb'is lower alkyl, especially ethyl ; and R* and R** are either both hydrogen or both benzyl.
8. A compound of formula XV wherein R* and R** are as defined for compounds of formula *, R,'is a hydroxyprotecting group or hydrogen and Rb is a carboxyprotecting group.
9. A compound of formula XV according to claim 8 wherein R* and R** are each hydrogen or especially are both benzyl, R,'is lower alkanol, such as acetyl, lower alkoxylower alkyl, such as methoxyacetyl, or especially hydrogen and Rb is lower alkyl, especially tertbutyl.
10. A compound of formula XVI wherein Ra'and R'are each independently of the other hydrogen or a hydroxyprotecting group, or Ras and R'together are a bridging hydroxyprotecting group; R* and R** are hydrogen or phenyllower alkyl ; and Rb is a carboxyprotecting group.
11. A compound of formula XVI according to claim 10, wherein Ra'and R are each independently of the other hydrogen, lower alkanol, especially acetyl, or lower alkoxylower alkanol, especially methoxyacetyl, or Ras and Rc'together are an isopropylidene protecting group; R* and R** are hydrogen or are especially both benzyl ; and Rb is lower alkyl, espe cially tertbutyl.
12. Use of the compounds and processes of any of the preceeding claims for the preparation of a compound of formula VI wherein RaX and Rc'are each independently of the other hydrogen or a hydroxyprotecting group or together are a bridging hydroxyprotecting group, and Rb is a carboxyprotecting group.
13. Use of a compound of formula VI wherein Ra'and R,'are each independently of the other hydrogen or a hydroxyprotecting group or together are a bridging hydroxyprotecting group, and Rb is a carboxyprotecting group, for the preparation of Atorvastatin.
Description:
Synthesis and intermediates Summary of the invention The invention relates to novel preparation processes for the preparation of 3,5-dihydroxy- heptanoic acid derivatives and to novel intermediates and processes for their preparation.

The dihydroxyheptanoic acid derivatives and the intermediates are suitable for advantageous syntheses of statins.

Background to the invention Statins are a class of pharmaceuticals that inhibit the enzyme hydroxymethylglutaryl CoA reductase (HMG-CoA-R) and are therefore widely used as hypolipidaemic agents and agents that lower the level of cholesterol in the blood (hypocholesterollipidaemic agents). All synthetically prepared HMG-CoA-R inhibitors have, as common structural features, an aromatic base structure and the so-called statin side chain, as symbolised by the following formula: OH OH 0 Z H 1H O Aryl<oOR (wherein Aryl denotes aromatic, heterocyclic or aromatic-heterocyclic, unsubstituted or substituted, mono-, di-or poly-cyclic ring systems). Such a structural unit can be found in a whole range of pharmaceutical active agents, such as cerivastatin (Bayer AG), fluvastatin (Novartis), itavastatin (NK-104; Kowa Company Ltd. ), BMY 22089 (Bristol-Myers Squibb), rosuvastatin (S-4522, AstraZeneca/Shionogi), glenvastin (Hoechst (Aventis) and atorvastatin (Warner-Lambert/Godecke-Parke Davies/Pfizer).

The aim of the present invention is to provide new efficient methods of synthesising some known statin derivatives and to provide new intermediate compounds.

General description of the invention Key steps in the synthesis according to the invention are early introduction of the correct absolute stereochemistry at C-3 (R) and subsequent regioselective chain lengthening.

Unlike the linear synthesis processes in the prior art, the use of the novel statin side chain building blocks allows a convergent synthesis. The invention relates also to novel inter- mediates.

Detailed description of the invention The present invention concerns a process for the preparation of the intermediate of formula vi wherein Ra'and R'are each independently of the other hydrogen or a hydroxy-protecting group or together are a bridging hydroxy-protecting group, and Rb is a carboxy-protecting group, which is suitable for the preparation of statin derivatives, which process is carried out by conversion of the intermediate of formula XVI wherein Ra'and R'are each independently of the other hydrogen or a hydroxy-protecting group, R* and R** are each independently of the other hydrogen or an amide-protecting group, and Rb is a carboxy-protecting group; wherein compound of formula XVI is prepared by a process which comprises the preparation of a a compound of formula t wherein X is halogen, acyloxy, activated hydrocarbyloxy, activated hydrocarbylthio or -N (CH3)-OCH3, Ra is hydrogen or a hydroxy-protecting group and Rb is a carboxy-protecting group, which intermediate converted into an amide of formula 1* wherein R.'is hydrogen or a hydroxy-protecting group, Rb'is hydrogen or a carboxy- protecting group and R* and R** are each independently of the other hydrogen or an amide- protecting group, preferably alkyl or substituted alkyl, more preferably C1-C4alkyl, such as methyl, ethyl, n-propyl, iso-propyl, n-butyl, tert.-butyl, sec.-butyl, or substituted alkyl, such as benzyl, most preferably benzyl, which compound can then be converted for the preparation of statin precursors, especially those of formula Vi already described above: The conversion of compound of formula l* wherein Rc'is hydrogen (obtainable, if necessary, from the compound of formula l* wherein R'is a hydroxy-protecting group, by removal of protecting groups) and Rb', R* and R** are as defined for the compound of formula l*, preferably at least one of the radicals R* and R** being an amide-protecting group, is carried out by reaction in the presence of a strong base with a compound of formula XX wherein Rb is a carboxy-protecting group, to form a compound of formula XV wherein R* and R** are as defined for compounds of formula *, R,,'is hydrogen and Rb is a carboxy-protecting group; that compound is then reduced diastereoselectively to form a syn- diol of formula XVI wherein Ra'and R'are hydrogen; or, after subsequent introduction of protecting groups, Ra' and R,,'are each independently of the other hydrogen or a hydroxy-protecting group, with the proviso that at least one of the two radicals is such a protecting group, or Ra and Re together are a bridging hydroxy-protecting group; R* and R** are as defined for the com- pound of formula 1*, preferably at least one of them being an amide-protecting group; and Rb is a carboxy-protecting group; the resulting compound of formula XVI is then converted into a compound of formula Vi, as described above, by reduction and removal of protecting groups R* and R**, if present.

The invention relates also to a process for the preparation of the compound of formula I as defined above.

For that purpose, a compound of formula XI wherein Ra is a hydroxy-protecting group (or, less preferred because the ee is then lower, hydrogen) and Rb is a carboxy-protecting group, is converted into the corresponding com- pound of formula I using a reagent that introduces the radical X.

The compound of formula Xi is in turn advantageously prepared by hydrolysing a compound of formula XII wherein Ra is a hydroxy-protecting group (or, less preferred because the ee is then lower, hydrogen), Rb is a carboxy-protecting group and Rd is hydrocarbyl, by means of an enantio- selective catalyst (preferably by hydrolysis using a biocatalyst) with removal of the radical Rd, the corresponding compound of formula XI being obtained directly.

The compound of formula XII is advantageously obtained by reacting a glutaric acid derivative of formula Xlil wherein Rb and Rd are as defined for compounds of formula XII, by introduction of a hydroxy- protecting group using the corresponding reagent suitable for the introduction of the protecting group.

The invention relates also to new individual steps of the processes described above, to new combinations of individual steps and to new intermediate compounds.

Unless indicated to the contrary, the general terms (including the reactions and reaction conditions) used hereinabove and hereinbelow preferably have the following meanings- these specific definitions and descriptions of reactions can be used independently of one another instead of the general terms mentioned hereinabove and hereinbelow, resulting in preferred embodiments of the invention: The prefix"-lower"or"lower"indicates that the radical in question contains preferably up to 7 carbon atoms, especially up to 4 carbon atoms. Lower alkyl is therefore preferably C1-C7- alkyl, especially C1-C4alkyl, and may be unbranched or branched one or more times, insofar as possible. Unsaturated radicals, such as alkenyl or alkynyl, have at least two carbon atoms, preferably from 2 to 7, especially from 3 to 7, more especially 3 or 4.

In the processes mentioned hereinabove and hereinbelow, it is possible at any stage, even where not explicitly mentioned, for one or more or all of the protecting groups present in the compounds of formulae I to XIX in question to be removed or for one or more or all of the functional groups that are not to participate in the reaction, or that would interfere with the reaction, to be converted into protected groups by the introduction of suitable protecting groups (especially hydroxy-protecting groups and/or carboxy-protecting groups).

The protection of functional groups by such protecting groups, suitable reagents for their introduction, suitable protecting groups and reactions for their removal will be familiar to the person skilled in the art. Examples of suitable protecting groups can be found in standard <BR> <BR> works, such as J. F. W. McOmie, "Protective Groups in Organic Chemistry", Plenum Press, London and New York 1973, in T. W. Greene and P. G. M. Wuts,"Protective Groups in Organic Synthesis", Third edition, Wiley, New York 1999, in"The Peptides" ; Volume 3 (editors: E. Gross and J. Meienhofer), Academic Press, London and New York 1981, in "Methoden der organischen Chemie", Houben-Weyl, 4"edition, Vol. 15/I, Georg Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart 1974, in H. -D. Jakubke and H. Jescheit,"Aminosauren, Peptide, Proteine", Verlag Chemie, Weinheim, Deerfield Beach, and Basel 1982, and/or in Jochen Lehmann, "Chemie der Kohlenhydrate : Monosaccharide and Derivate", Georg Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart 1974.

Suitable hydroxy-protecting groups are especially selected from those of the acyl or ester type, e. g. lower alkanol, such as formyl, acetyl or isobutyroyl, benzoylformyl, chloroacetyl, dichloroacetyl, trichloroacetyl, trifluoroacetyl, methoxyacetyl, phenoxyacetyl, phenylacetyl, p- phenylacetyl, diphenylacetyl, 2, 6-dichloro-4-methylphenoxyacetyl, 2, 6-dichloro-4- (1, 1, 3,3- tetramethylbutyl) phenoxyacetyl, 2,4-bis (1, 1-dimethylpropyl) phenoxyacetyl, chlorodiphenyl- acetyl, 3-phenylpropionyl, 4-azidobutyroyl, 4-methylthiomethoxybutyroyl, (E)-2-methyl-2- butenoyl, 4-nitro-4-methylpentanoyl, 4-pentenoyl, 4-oxopentanoyl, 4, 4- (ethylenedithio)- pentanol, 5- [3-bis (4-methoxyphenyl) hydroxymethylphenoxy) laevulinyl, pivaloyl, crotonoyl, monosuccinoyl, benzoyl, p-phenylbenzoyl, 2,4, 6-trimethylbenzoyl, 2-(methylthiomethoxy- methyl) benzoyl, 2-(chloroacetoxymethyl) benzoyl, 2-[(2-chloroacetoxy) ethyl] benzoyl, 2-[(2- benzyloxy) ethyl] benzoyl, 2- [2- (4-methoxybenzyloxy) ethyl] benzoyl, 2-iodobenzoyl, o- (di- bromomethyl) benzoyl, o- (methoxycarbonyl) benzoyl, 2-chlorobenzoyl, 4-bromobenzoyl, 4- nitrobenzoyl, alkoxycarbonyl, such as methoxycarbonyl, ethoxycarbonyl, isobutoxycarbonyl, methoxymethylcarbonyl, 9-fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl, 2,2, 2-trichloroethoxycarbonyl, 1,1- dimethyl-2, 2, 2-trichloroethoxycarbonyl, 2- (trimethylsilyl) ethoxycarbonyl, 2- (phenylsulfonyl)- ethoxycarbonyl, 2- (triphenylphosphonio) ethoxycarbonyl, vinyloxycarbonyl, allyloxycarbonyl, p-nitrophenoxycarbonyl, benzyloxycarbonyl, p-methoxybenzyloxycarbonyl, 3,4-dimethoxy- benzyloxycarbonyl, o-nitrobenzyloxycarbonyl, p-nitrobenzyloxycarbonyl, dansylethoxy- carbonyl, 2-(4-nitrophenyl) ethoxycarbonyl, 2-(2, 4-dinitrophenyl) ethoxycarbonyl, 2-cyano-1- phenylethoxycarbonyl, S-benzylthiocarbonyl, 4-ethoxy-1-naphthyloxycarbonyl, 3', 5'-di- methoxybenzoinyloxycarbonyl, 2-methylthiomethoxyethoxywarbonyl, N-phenylcarbamoyl,- dimethylethylphosphinothiolyl, methyidithiocarbonyl ; N, N, N', N'-tetramethylphosphoro- diamidoyl, sulfonyl, methanesulfonyl, benzenesulfonyl, toluenesulfonyl, 2- [ (4-nitrophenyl)- ethyl] sulfonyl, allylsulfonyl, 2-formylbenzenesulfonyl, nitroxy, or protecting groups of the ether type, such as methyl, substituted methyl, preferably lower alkoxymethyl, especially methoxymethyl (MOM), methylthiomethyl, (phenyidimethylsilyl) methoxymethyl, benzyloxy- methyl, p-methoxybenzyloxymethyl, p-nitrobenzyloxymethyl, guaiacolmethyl, tert-butoxy- methyl, 4-pentenyloxymethyl, silyloxymethyl, lower alkoxy-lower alkoxymethyl, especially 2- methoxyethoxymethyl (MEM), 2,2, 2-trichloroethoxymethyl, 2-(trimethylsilyl)-ethoxymethyl or menthoxymethyl, tetrahydropyranyl, 3-bromotetrahydropyranyl, tetrahydrothiopyranyl, 4- methoxythiopyranyl, 1-methoxycyclohexyl, 4-methoxytetrahydrothiopyranyl, S, S-dioxy-4- methoxytetrahydrothiopyranyl, 1-[(2-chloro-4-methyl) phenyl]-4-methoxypiperidin-4-yl, 1-(2- fluorophenyl)-4-methoxypiperidin-4-yl, 1, 4-dioxan-2-yl, tetrahydrofuranyl, tetrahydrothio- furanyl, 2,3, 3a, 4,5, 6,7, 7a-octahydro-7,8, 8-trimethyl-4, 7-methanobenzofuran-2-yl ; substituted ethyl, such as 1-ethoxyethyl, 1- (2-chloroethoxy) ethyl, 1- [2- (trimethylsilyl) ethoxy] ethyl, 1- methyl-1-methoxyethyl, 1-methyl-1-benzyloxyethyl, 1-methyl-1-benzyloxy-2-fluoroethyl, 1- methyl-1-phenoxyethyl, 2,2, 2-trichloroethyl, 1, 1-dianisyl-2, 2, 2-trichloroethyl, 1,1, 1,3, 3,3- hexafluoro-2-phenylisopropyl, 2-trimethylsilylethyl, 2- (benzylthio) ethyl, 2- (phenylselenyl) ethyl, tert-butyl ; allyl or propargyl, substituted phenyl ethers, such as p-chlorophenyl, p- methoxyphenyl, p-nitrophenyl, 2, 4-dinitrophenyl or 2,3, 5, 6-tetrafluoro-4- (trifluoromethyl)- phenyl, benzyl, substituted benzyl, such as p-methoxybenzyl, 3, 4-dimethoxybenzyl, o- nitrobenzyl, p-nitrobenzyl, p-halobenzyl, e. g. p-bromobenzyl, 2, 6-dichlorobenzyl, p-cyano- benzyl, p-phenylbenzyl, 2, 6-difluorobenzyl, p-azidobenzyl, 4-azido-3-chlorobenzyl, 2-tri- fluoromethylbenzyl or p- (methylsulfinyl) benzyl, 2-or 4-picolyl, 3-methyl-2-picolyl, 2-quin- olinylmethyl, 1-pyrenylmethyl, diphenylmethyl, p, p'-dinitrobenzhydryl, 5-dibenzosuberyl, triphenylmethyl, a-naphthyldiphenylmethyl, p-methoxyphenyidiphenylmethyl, di (p-methoxy- phenyl) phenylmethyl, tri (p-methoxyphenyl) methyl, 4- (4'-bromophenacyloxy) phenyl- diphenylmethyl, 4,4', 4"-tris (4, 5-dichlorophthalimidophenyl) methyl), 4,4', 4"-tris (laevulinoyl- oxyphenyl) methyl, 4,4', 4"-tris (benzoyloxyphenyl) methyl, 4, 4'-dimethoxy-3"-[N-(imidazolyl- methyl)] trityl, 4, 4'-dimethoxy-3"-[N-(imidazolylethyl) carbamoyl] trityl, 1,1-bis (4-methoxy- phenyl)-1'-pyrenylmethyl, 4- (17-tetrahydrobenzo [a, c, g, i] fluorenylmethyl)-4', 4"-dimethoxytrityl, 9-anthryl, 9- (9-phenyl) xanthenyl, 9- (9-phenyl-10-oxo) anthryl, 1, 3-benzodithiolan-2-yl, S, S- dioxo-benzoisothiazolyl ; of the silyl ether-type, such as tri-lower alkylsilyl, e. g. trimethylsilyl, triethylsilyI, triisopropylsilyl, dimethylisopropylsilyl, diethylisopropylsilyl, dimethylthexylsilyl, tert-butyidimethylsilyl or di-tert-butylmethylsilyl, tert-butyldiphenylsilyl, triphenylsilyl, diphenylmethylsilyl, tris (trimethylsilyl) silyl, (2-hydroxystyryl) dimethylsilyl, (2-hydroxystyryl)- diisopropylsilyl, tert-butylmethoxyphenylsilyl or tert-butoxydiphenylsilyl.

Bridging protecting groups can likewise be used where a molecule contains two hydroxy groups (for example bridging hydroxy-protecting groups formed by Ra and Rc or Ra'and Rc' together) or a hydroxy-protecting group and a carboxy group (for example bridging protect- ing groups formed by Ra and Rb or Ra'and Rb in the molecules of the corresponding formulae mentioned hereinabove and hereinbelow in which those radicals are present).

A bridging hydroxy-protecting group (especially one formed by Ra'and Rc') is preferably selected from methylene, ethylidene, tert-butylmethylidene, 1-tert-butylethylidene, 1-phenyl- ethylidene, 1- (4-methoxyphenyl) ethylidene, 2,2, 2-trichloroethylidene, vinylmethylidene, cyclopentylidene, cyclohexylidene, cycloheptylidene, benzylidene, p-methoxybenzylidene, 2, 4-dimethoxybenzylidene, 3, 4-dimethoxybenzylidene, 2-nitrobenzylidene, 4-nitrobenzyl- idene, mesitylene, phenyl- (1, 2-bis (methylenyl)), methoxymethylene, ethoxymethylene, dialkylsilylene, such as tert-butylsilylene, 1, 3- (1, 1,3, 3-tetraisopropyldisiloxanylidene), 1,1, 3,3- tetra-tert-butoxydisiloxanylidene,-C (=O)-, ethylboronyl (- (H3C-CH2) B-), phenylboronyl (-(phenyl) B-), o-acetamidophenylboronyl or especially isopropylidene.

Carboxy-protecting groups are especially ester-forming, enzymatically and/or chemically removable protecting groups, preferably enzymatically and/or chemically removable protecting groups, such as heptyl, 2-N- (morpholino) ethyl, cholinyl, methoxyethoxyethyl or methoxyethyl ; or those which are primarily chemically removable, e. g. alkyl, such as lower alkyl, especially methyl, ethyl, substituted lower alkyl (except for benzyl and substituted benzyl), such as substituted methyl, especially 9-fluorenylmethyl, methoxymethyl, methoxy- ethoxymethyl, methylthiomethyl, 2-(trimethylsilyl) ethoxymethyl, benzyloxymethyl, pivaloyloxy- methyl, phenylacetoxymethyl, triisopropylsilylmethyl, 1, 3-dithianyl-2-methyl, dicyclopropyl- methyl, acetonyl, phenacyl, p-bromophenacyl, a-methylphenacyl, p-methoxyphenacyl, desyl, carbamidomethyl, p-azobenzenecarboxamidomethyl, N-phthalimidomethyl or 4-picolyl, 2- substituted ethyl, especially 2-iodo-, 2-bromo-or 2-chloro-ethyl, 2,2, 2-trichloroethyl, 2- (trimethylsilyl) ethyl, 2-methylthioethyl, 2-(p-nitrophenylsulfenyl) ethyl, 2-(p-toluenesulfonyl)- ethyl, 2-(2'-pyridyl) ethyl, 2-(p-methoxyphenyl) ethyl, 2-(diphenylphosphino) ethyl, 1-methyl-1- phenylethyl, 2- (4-acetyl-2-nitrophenyl) ethyl or 2-cyanoethyl, tert-butyl, 3-methyl-3-pentyl, 2, 4- dimethyl-3-pentyl or (o-chloro-lower alkyl, especially 4-chlorobutyl or 5-chloropentyl, cyclopentyl, cyclohexyl, lower alkenyl, especially allyl, methallyl, 2-methylbut-3-en-2-yl, 3- methylbut-2-enyl or 3-buten-1-yl, substituted lower alkenyl, especially 4- (trimethylsilyl)-2- buten-1-yl, cinnamyl or a-methylcinnamyl, lower alkynyl, such as prop-2-ynyl, phenyl, sub- stituted phenyl, especially 2, 6-dialkylphenyl, such as 2, 6-dimethylphenyl, 2, 6-diisopropyl- phenyl, 2, 6-di-tert-butyl-4-methylphenyl, 2, 6-di-tert-butyl-4-methoxyphenyl, p- (methylthio)- phenyl or pentafluorophenyl, benzyl, substituted benzyl, especially triphenylmethyl, diphenyl- methyl, bis (o-nitrophenyl) methyl, 9-anthrylmethyl, 2- (9, 10-dioxo) anthrylmethyl, 5-dibenzo- suberyl, 1-pyrenylmethyl, 2-(trifluoromethyl)-6-chromonylmethyl, 2,4, 6-trimethylbenzyl, p- bromobenzyl, o-nitrobenzyl, p-nitrobenzyl, p-methoxybenzyl, 2, 6-dimethoxybenzyl, 4- (methylsulfinyl) benzyl, 4-sulfobenzyl, 4-azidomethoxybenzyl, 4- {N- [1- (4, 4-dimethyl-2, 6-dioxo- cyclohexylidene)-3-methylbutyl] amino} benzyl, piperonyl or p-polymer-benzyl, tetrahydro- pyranyl, tetrahydrofuranyl, or silyl radicals, such as tri-lower alkylsilyl, especially trimethylsilyl, triethylsilyl, tert-butyidimethylsilyl, isopropyidimethylsilyl or di-tert-butylmethylsilyl, or phenyl- di-lower alkylsilyl, such as phenyidimethylsilyl ; alternatively a carboxy group can also be protected in the form an oxazolyl, 2-alkyl-1, 3-oxazolinyl, 4-alkyl-5-oxo-1, 3-oxazolidinyl or 2,2- bistrifluoromethyl-4-alkyl-5-oxo-1, 3-oxazolidinyl radical.

Amide-protecting groups are especially allyl, tert-butyl, N-methoxy, N-benzoyloxy, N-methyl- thio, triphenylmethylthio, tert-butyidimethylsilyl, triisopropylsilyl, 4- (methoxymethoxy) phenyl, 2-methoxy-1-naphthyl, 9-fluorenyl, tert-butoxycarbonyl, N-benzyloxycarbonyl, N-methoxy-or N-ethoxy-carbonyl, toluenesulfonyl, N-buten-1-yl, 2-methoxycarbonylvinyl, or especially alkyl, such as lower alkyl, or more especially substituted alkyl, especially benzyl, benzyl substituted by one or more radicals selected from lower alkoxy, such as methoxy, lower alkanoyloxy, such as acetoxy, lower alkylsulfinyl, such as methylsulfinyl, dicyclopropylmethyl, methoxymethyl, methylthiomethyl and N-benzoyloxymethyl ; or bis (trimethylsilyl) methyl, trichloroethoxymethyl, tert-butyldimethylsilyloxymethyl, pivaloyloxymethyl, cyanomethyl, benzyl, 4-methoxybenzyl, 2, 4-dimethoxybenzyl, 3, 4-dimethoxybenzyl, 2-acetoxy-4-methoxy- benzyl, o-nitrobenzyl, bis (4-methoxyphenyl) phenylmethyl, bis (4-methylsulfinylphenyl) methyl, pyrrolidinomethyl, diethoxymethyl, 1-methoxy-2, 2-dimethylpropyl or 2- (4-methylsulfonyl) ethyl.

It is characteristic of protecting groups that they are simple to remove (that is to say without undesirable secondary reactions taking place), for example by solvolysis, reduction ; photo- lysis or alternatively under conditions analogous to physiological conditions, for example enzymatically.

The person skilled in the art will know which protecting groups can be used for which reactions and compounds of the present invention. Hydroxy-protecting groups Ra and Ra'are especially those which can be selectively introduced and removed, more especially those which are not removed during the conversion of compounds of formula XII. Here it is especially advisable to use hydroxy-protecting groups that do not contain too strongly electronegative substituents, more especially lower alkanol, such as acetyl, lower alkoxy- lower alkanoyl, such as methoxyacetyl, or protecting groups of the substituted methyl type, especially lower alkoxymethyl, more especially methoxymethyl (MOM), or lower alkoxy-lower alkoxymethyl, especially 2-methoxyethoxymethyl (MEM).

Acyloxy in formula I is especially the radical of an organic carboxylic or sulfonic acid having from 1 to 24 carbon atoms, unsubstituted or substituted by one or more radicals, especially from 1 to 3 radicals, preferably selected from lower alkoxy, halogen, nitro, lower alkoxycarbonyl, phenyl, phenyl-lower alkyl, phenyloxy, lower alkanoyloxy, benzoyloxy, di- lower alkyl-amino, N-phenyl-lower alkyl-N-lower alkyl-amino, N, N-di (phenyl-lower alkyl)- amino, carbamoyl, thiocarbamoyl, sulfamoyl and cyano, and saturated or partially or fully unsaturated, and is preferably the radical of an alkanecarboxylic acid or haloalkane- carboxylic acid, especially lower alkanol, of an arylcarboxylic acid, especially benzoic acid, or halo-lower alkanesulfonyl, such as trifluoromethanesulfonyl ; or, in the case of a compound of formula 1, a radical of formula 1' wherein Ra and Rb are as defined for compounds of formula I (the compound of formula I is then a symmetric anhydride (obtainable, for example, by reaction of the acid of formula I (OH instead of X) in the presence of a lower alkanecarboxylic acid anhydride, such as acetic anhydride, in the presence of catalytic amounts of acid)).

Activated hydrocarbyloxy or hydrocarbylthio is preferably unsubstituted or substituted lower alkyloxy, unsubstituted or substituted aryloxy (preferably having from 6 to 12 ring atoms) or unsubstituted or substituted heterocyclyloxy (preferably an unsaturated, fully or partially saturated mono-or bi-cyclic ring system having from 4 to 12 ring atoms and up to three hetero atoms selected from nitrogen, sulfur and oxygen) and is especially lower alkyloxy substituted in the 1-position by esterified carbonyl, such as lower alkoxycarbonyl, cyano or by phenylcarbonyl, especially lower alkoxycarbonylmethoxy, such as ethoxycarbonyl- methoxy, cyanomethoxy or phenacyloxy (Ph-CO-CH2-O-), tert-butylthio, N-benzotriazolyloxy, N-succinimidyloxy, pyridyloxy or pyridylthio, especially 2-pyridyloxy or more especially 2- pyridylthio, or electronegatively substituted aryloxy, such as p-nitrophenyloxy, 2,4-dinitro- phenyloxy ; pentafluorophenyloxy or 2,4, 5-trichlorophenyloxy.

Any hydroxy-protecting groups Ra can then, if necessary, be removed selectively, especially by the methods described in the standard works mentioned above.

"Selectively"means especially enzymatically. In particular, lower alkanol, such as acetyl, is removed enzymatically, for example by esterases, such as pig's liver esterase, in suitable buffers, such as phosphate buffer, at preferred pH values of from 5 to 9, especially from 6 to 8. Further possible enzymes and reaction conditions will be found below under the definition of biocatalysts for the hydrolysis. Lower alkoxymethyl, such as MOM, or lower alkoxy-lower alkoxymethyl, such as MEM, is removed by chemical standard methods.

The diastereoselective reduction of a compound of formula XV (when Rc'is a hydroxy- protecting group, after removal thereof) to form a compound of formula XVI in each case as defined above and below, is then preferably carried out in a chelate-controlled manner, there being used as chelate-forming agent preferably a di-lower alkyl borinic acid lower alkyl ester or mixtures of triethylborane or diethylborane methoxide with sodium borhydride, especially diethyl borinic acid ethyl ester. As solvent there are preferably used ethers, such as cyclic ethers, especially tetrahydrofuran, and/or alcohols, such as lower alkanols, e. g. methanol, or mixtures of them, preferred is a mixture of tetrahydrofuran and methanol ; the preferred reaction temperatures being from-80 to-30°C, especially from-78 to-40°C.

Further, preferred is the diasteroselective reduction of compound of formula XV to XVI with hydrogen in the presence of a homogeneous metal catalyst. Customary, the reduction is carried out in the presence of an organic solvent. Preferred metal of the homogeneous metal catalyst is a metal of Group VII of the periodic table of elements. More preferred is a ruthenium catalyst, for the reaction with a ruthenium catalyst and hydrogen the preferred reaction temperatures being from 0 to 150°C under pressure of 1 to 100 bar, preferably from 10 to 60°C under pressure of 10 to 60 bar.

In addition, preferred is the diasteroselective reduction of compound of formula XV to XVI with hydrogen in the presence of an alkali metal salt or alkaline-earth metal salt and a heterogeneous platinum catalyst. Preferred salt is an alkaline-earth metal salt, most preferred is a magnesium salt, and especially preferred is magnesium acetate. Customary this diasteroselective reduction is carried under pressure between 1 to 100 bar at temperatures between 0 to 100°C. Most preferably the reduction is carried out using a platinum on carbon catalyst together with magnesium acetate with hydrogen under a pressure of 6 to 60 bar at temperatures between 10 to 60°C.

In a broader embodiment of the invention it is also preferred to use alternative reducing agents, such as sodium cyanoborohydride, but this results in lower diastereoselectivity and is therefore less preferred.

The bridging protecting group formed by Ral and Rc'together, preferably as indicated above, especially the isopropylidene protecting group, is especially introduced by standard methods, preferably as described in the standard works mentioned above, in the case of the isopropylidene protecting group especially by reaction with acetone or, preferably, with a di- lower alkoxypropane, such as dimethoxypropane, in the presence of copper (II) sulfate, zinc chloride or, preferably, an acid, such as sulfuric acid or especially an organic sulfonic acid, such as an arylsulfonic acid (wherein aryl has especially from 6 to 10 ring atoms, e. g. naphthyl or phenyl, and is unsubstituted or mono-or poly-substituted, especially up to tri- substituted, especially by lower alkyl, such as methyl), preferably toluenesulfonic acid, or with a lower alkyl isopropenyl ether, such as ethyl isopropenyl ether, in the presence of an arylsulfonic acid. As preferred solvents there are used aprotic solvents, such as ethers, especially cyclic ethers, more especially tetrahydrofuran, or carboxylic acid amides, such as di-lower alkyl-lower alkanoylamides, e. g. dimethylformamide. The preferred reaction temperatures are in the range of from 0 to 80°C, especially from 20 to 30°C.

The reaction for the preparation of a compound of formula XI to form the corresponding compound of formula I is preferably effected under customary conditions, there being used as reagent for introducing a radical X especially an acid anhydride or an acid halide, preferably an inorganic acid halide, more especially a phosphorus trihalide, phosphorus pentahalide or thionyl halide, such as phosphoryl chloride, phosphoryl bromide, phosphorus trichloride, phosphorus tribromide, phosphorus pentachloride, phosphorus pentabromide, thionyl chloride or thionyl bromide, a symmetric anhydride of a lower alkanesulfonic acid halogenated at the a-carbon atom, such as trifluoromethanesulfonic anhydride, or an acid chloride or a symmetric anhydride of an organic carboxylic acid, especially an oxalyl halide, such as oxalyl chloride or bromide, the reaction being carried out in the absence or prefer- ably presence of a (preferably polar) solvent or solvent mixture, especially in a halogenated hydrocarbon, preferably methylene chloride, in the absence or presence of an acid amide, especially a di-lower alkyl-lower alkanoic acid amide, such as dimethylformamide, at preferred temperatures of from-20°C to the reflux temperature of the reaction mixture in question, preferably from-10 to 50°C.

Hydrocarbyl Rd in a compound of formula XII is preferably a saturated, fully or partially unsaturated, cyclic (having one or more, especially up to three, fused rings), linear, branched or mixed cyclic-linear or cyclic-branched hydrocarbon radical having up to 24 carbon atoms, preferably up to 10 carbon atoms, especially lower alkyl, and is unsubstituted or mono-or poly-substituted, preferably up to tri-substituted, especially by hydroxy, lower alkoxy, phenyl- lower alkoxy, lower alkanoyloxy, phenyl-lower alkanoyloxy, benzoyloxy, halogen, carboxy, lower alkoxycarbonyl or halo-lower alkyl, such as trifluoromethyl. Preference is given to lower alkyl, especially methyl or more especially ethyl, or lower alkoxy-lower alkyl, especially methoxymethyl. Preferably, in the compounds of formulae Xll and XIII the carboxy- protecting group Rb is identical to the hydrocarbyl group Rd, especially in each case lower alkyl, more especially methyl or ethyl, branched lower alkyl or lower alkoxy-lower alkyl, especially methoxymethyl.

The preparation of a compound of formula XI is preferably effected with removal of the hydrocarbyl radical Rd in the presence of an enantioselective catalyst, especially a biocatalyst.

As biocatalysts for the hydrolysis there are suitable cells or ruptured cells with the enzymes mentioned below, or especially enzymes as such, preferably esterases, lipases and proteases (peptidases or amidases, see U. T. Bornscheuer and R. T. Kazlauskas, in: Hydro- lases in Organic Synthesis, Wiley-VCH, 1999, pages 65-195, ISBN 3-527-30104-6).

Common representatives of those classes of enzyme are especially animal esterases (e. g. pig's liver esterase = PLE, pig's pancreas esterase = PPL), esterases from microorganisms or fungi (B. subtilis esterase, Pichia esterases, yeast esterases, Rhizopus sp. esterases (RML, ROL), Penicillium sp. esterases, G. candidum (GCL), H. lanuginosa (HLL), Candida sp. (CAL-A, CAL-B, CCL), Aspergillus sp. (ANL), Pseudomonas sp. (PCL, PFL) and the like), and also proteases, e. g. subtilisin, thermitase, chymotrypsin, thermolysin, papain, aminoacylases, penicillin amidases, trypsin or the like, to name only a few. The person skilled in the art will be familiar with further suitable enzymes, and the enzymes that can be used are not limited to those mentioned in the above list. Such enzymes can be obtained in the form of crude isolates and/or in purified form from natural sources and/or from recombinant microorganisms by means of modern cloning procedures via overexpression, amplification or the like. Commercially available enzymes are especially preferred. The enzymes can be present as such or immobilised or adsorbed on carriers, for example on silica gel, kieselguhr, such as Celite@, Eupergite (Rohm & Haas, Darmstadt, Germany) or the like, or used in the form of"CLECs" (cross-linked enzymes), such as are available from ALTUS BIOLOGICS, the scope for use extending beyond the list given, as the person skilled in the art will know (see U. T. Bornscheuer and R. T. Kazlauskas, in: Hydrolases in Organic Synthesis, Wiley-VCH, 1999, pages 61-64, ISBN 3-527-30104-6; K. Faber in: Biotransformation in Organic Chemistry, Springer 1997, Third Edition, pages 345-357, ISBN 3-540-61688-8; H. J. Rehm, G. Reed in: Biotechnology, VCH 1998, Second Edition, pages 407-411). The enzymes can be used in pure organic solvents, e. g. liquid hydrocarbons, such as hexane, toluene or benzene, liquid ethers, such as diethyl ether, methyl ter-butyl ether or tetrahydrofuran, liquid halogenated hydrocarbons, such as methylene chloride, water or aqueous buffer solutions, in mixtures of those solvents, for example mixtures of one or more thereof with water or aqueous buffer solutions. The aqueous solution is preferably buffered, pH 5-9, it being possible to use customary buffer systems (see e. g. K. Faber in: Biotransformation in Organic Chemistry, Springer 1997, Third Edition, p. 305; or U. T.

Bornscheuer and R. T. Kazlauskas, in: Hydrolases in Organic Synthesis, Wiley-VCH, 1999, pages 61-65). The pH is preferably kept substantially constant during the reaction. Most suitable for this purpose is an automatic titrator having a standardised acid or base solution, or manual titration. The reaction temperature is preferably in the range from 10 to 50°C, especially from 25 to 40°C. The amount of biocatalyst used and the concentrations of the reagents can be dependent upon the substrate and the reaction conditions (temperature, <BR> <BR> solvent etc. ) selected in each case, as will be known to the person skilled in the art. There are preferably used commercially available enzymes (for example from Fluka, Sigma, Novo Nordisk, Amano, Roche and the like) or those listed in the current literature (see e. g. H.-J.

Rehm, G. Reed in: Biotechnology, VCH 1998, 2nd Edition, pages 40-42). Especially preferred for the preparation of enantiomerically pure compounds is a-chymotrypsin in phosphate buffer, especially at pH 7.0.

The preparation of an amide of formula l* from a compound of formula I is carried out under customary conditions for the introduction of ammonia or amines and, where applicable, amide-protecting groups. For example, for the introduction of-NH2 (R* = R** = H) reaction with ammonia is carried out, preferably in a suitable solvent, such as an ether, e. g. a di-lower alkyl ether, such as tert-butyl methyl ether, at preferred temperatures of from-20 to 30°C, e. g. at 0°C. For the introduction of substituted alkyl radicals (especially R* = R** = benzyl), reaction with the corresponding amine (e. g. dibenzylamine) is carried out in the presence of a tertiary nitrogen base, such as a tri-lower alkylamine or pyridine, dimethylaminopyridine or the like, in a suitable solvent, such as a halogenated hydrocarbon, e. g. methylene chloride, at preferred temperatures of from-20 to 30°C, especially at approximately 0°C.

The introduction of protecting groups into compounds of formula XVI is carried out, if necessary, in accordance with standard methods, especially as described in the standard works mentioned. The dehydration of a compound of formula l* wherein R* and R** are each hydrogen, Rb'is a carboxy-protecting group and Rcs is a hydroxy-protecting group is carried out in the presence of suitable dehydrating agents, such as phosphorus (V) oxide or phosphoryl chloride at elevated temperatures, or with cyanuric chloride, in an aprotic solvent, especially an ether, such as a lower alkane-lower alkyl ether, e. g. tert-butyl methyl ether, and/or an acid amide, especially an N, N-di-lower alkyl-lower alkanoylamide, such as dimethylformamide, at preferred temperatures of from 10°C to the reflux temperature, for example from 20 to 30°C.

The reduction and removal of protecting groups from an amide compound of formula XVI for conversion into a compound of formula VI is carried out under standard conditions using suitable reducing agents, such as hydrogenating agents or hydrogen; for example by initial treatment with a hydride, such as borane, in a customary solvent, especially a solvent that stabilises the reducing agent, such as a cyclic ether, such as tetrahydrofuran, at preferred- temperatures of from 0 to 60°C, especially from 30 to 50°C, and subsequent hydrogenation in the presence of a transition metal catalyst, especially a noble metal catalyst, such as platinum or palladium, in each case preferably bound to a carrier, especially carbon, in a suitable solvent, preferably an alcohol, such as ethanol, especially under normal pressure or elevated hydrogen pressure, for example at from 1 to 30 bar (especially for R* and R** = each benzyl).

Unless otherwise indicated, halogen is preferably fluorine, chlorine, bromine or iodine, more preferred is chlorine.

Wherever solvents are mentioned hereinabove and hereinbelow it is also possible, where expedient and possible, for mixtures of two or more of the mentioned solvents to be used.

The person skilled in the art will know that for certain reactions such solvents or solvent mixtures must be used in anhydrous (absolute) form and that, if necessary, also the reaction vessels used must have dry surfaces.

Where necessary, the said reactions are carried out in the absence of oxygen, and often also in the absence of carbon dioxide and/or atmospheric moisture, for example under protective gas, such as argon or nitrogen.

Where possible, the starting compounds and intermediate compounds can also be used in the form of salts, obtained in the form of salts or converted into salts in accordance with customary processes, for example in the case of carboxy compounds into the corresponding metal salts, such as alkali metal salts, e. g. sodium or potassium salts, or alkaline earth metal salts, such as calcium salts, or salts with nitrogen bases, such as ammonium, tri-lower alkyl- ammonium, pyridinium salts or the like. Where salt formation is possible, any reference to any of the compounds should be understood as also including the corresponding salts.

In addition to the solvents already mentioned, it is also possible to use other suitable solvents, where expedient and possible for the reaction in question. Such solvents can be selected, for example, from the following list : water, esters, e. g. lower alkyl-lower alkanoates, such as diethyl acetate, ethers, e. g. aliphatic ethers, such as diethyl ether, or cyclic ethers, such as dioxane or tetrahydrofuran, liquid aromatic hydrocarbons, such as benzene or. toluene, alcohols, such as methanol, ethanol or 1-or 2-propanol, nitriles, such as aceto- nitrile, halogenated hydrocarbons, such as dichloromethane, chloroform or ethylene chloride, acid amides, such as dimethylformamide, bases, e. g. heterocyclic nitrogen bases, such as pyridine, carboxylic acids, such as lower alkanecarboxylic acids, e. g. acetic acid, carboxylic acid anhydrides, e. g. lower alkanoic acid anhydrides, e. g. acetic anhydride, cyclic, linear or branched hydrocarbons, such as cyclohexane, hexane or isopentane, or mixtures of such solvents or other solvents, e. g. aqueous solutions. Such solvents and solvent mixtures can also be used in working-up, e. g. by chromatography or partition. Any mention of solvents or eluants hereinabove and hereinbelow should be understood as including also mixtures of such solvents or eluants.

The other compounds, especially of formula XX, are known, can be prepared according to methods known per se and/or are commercially available.

Preferred embodiments of the invention: Preferred aspects of the invention can be found in the claims, which are incorporated herein by reference.

Hereinabove and hereinbelow, the radicals in compounds of the formulae of the present invention have the meanings given hereinabove and hereinbelow (especially the specific meanings mentioned for certain reaction variants or methods), and the reaction conditions are in each case as defined hereinabove or hereinbelow, preferably as the preferred reaction conditions: Preference is given to a process for the preparation of statin derivatives which comprises the preparation of a compound of formula 1, as defined hereinabove and hereinbelow, from a compound of formula XI, preferably such a process for the preparation of a compound of formula I ; the compound of formula Xi in turn preferably being prepared from a compound of formula XII which, in turn, is preferably prepared from a compound of formula XIII.

Preference is given to a process for the preparation of statin derivatives, especially of formula VI, comprising initially the conversion of the compound of formula I into a compound of formula l* ; then preferably reaction thereof with a compound of formula XX to form a compound of formula XV; then preferably conversion thereof into a compound of formula XVI ; and finally preferably reduction of the latter to form a compound of formula VI.

In all the preferred embodiments, if necessary one or more or all of the protecting groups present are removed or one or more or all of the functional groups that are not to participate in a reaction, or that would interfere with the reaction, are converted into protected groups by the introduction of suitable protecting groups (especially hydroxy-protecting groups and/or carboxy-protecting groups); and, where salt-forming groups are present and the reaction in question is not impaired, the compounds of the present invention may also be in salt form.

A further embodiment of the present invention concerns the use of the compounds and processes of any of the preceeding claims for the preparation of a compound of formula VI.

In addition, the present invention relates to the use of a compound of formula VI for the preparation of Atorvastatin@. Atorvastatin@ is commercially available, such as from Warner- Lambert/Godecke-Parke Davies/Pfizer.

Of the compounds, the invention relates especially to those of formulae 1, I*, VI, XV and XVI as such, especially those in which the substituents correspond to the radicals indicated in the respective Examples.

Special preference is given to the compounds 1 d, 1 e, 11 a, 11 b, 11 c, 12a, 13a, 13b and Bb mentioned in the Examples, especially each individual compound.

The present invention relates especially to the reaction steps and new intermediate compounds mentioned in the following Examples.

Examples The following Examples serve to illustrate the invention but do not limit the scope thereof.

Abbreviations used: Celite Celte@, filtration aid based on kieselguhr, trade mark of Celite Corp. , USA TLC thin-layer chromatography DMF dimethylformamide eq. equivalent h hour (s) Hunig's base N-ethyidiisopropylamine min minute (s) NMR nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy PLE pig's liver esterase m. p. melting point (°C) THF tetrahydrofuran torr unit of pressure (mm mercury column) ; 1 torr corresponds to 0. 1333 kPa Unless otherwise indicated, the ratios of the components of eluant mixtures, solvent mixtures and the like are given in parts by volume (v/v).

Reaction scheme I for Examples 1 to 4: Example 1: a) Precursor of formula Ba wherein R = ethyl. A = acetyl (diethyl-3-acetoxvalutaric acid) : 54.0 g of diethyl-3-hydroxyglutaric acid (Fluka, Buchs, Switzerland) are dissolved at room temperature in 26.5 ml of pyridine and 27.4 ml of acetic anhydride and the mixture is stirred for about 12 h until all the starting material has reacted. The mixture is diluted with ethyl acetate and washed in succession with water, 1 N hydrochloric acid, saturated sodium hydrogen carbonate solution and saturated sodium chloride solution. The organic phase is separated and dried over magnesium sulfate. After evaporation of the organic solvent, 64.3 g of NMR-spectroscopically pure acetate, the title compound, remain : 'H-NMR (CDCI3) : 1. 24 (t, 6H); 2.01 (s, 3H); 2.69 (d, 4H); 4.14 (q, 4H); 5.50 (quin. , 1H). b) Compound of formula Ca wherein R = ethyl, A = acetyl (monoethvl-3 (R)-acetoxvqlutaric acid) : 160 g of diethyl-3-acetoxyglutaric acid Ba are suspended at room temperature in 570 ml of distilled water, and 168 ml of 0. 1 M phosphate buffer (pH 7) are added. After the addition of 2.7 g of a-chymotrypsin (Sigma, Sigma Chemie, Buchs, Switzerland), the mixture is stirred vigorously and maintained at pH 7. 8 using a pH meter and pH stat (Metrohm) and 0.5N sodium hydroxide solution. When the theoretical amount of hydroxide solution (1.3 litres) has been consumed, the mixture is extracted with ethyl acetate. The aqueous phase is adjusted to pH 1 with concentrated hydrochloric acid (conc. HCI) and then extracted with ethyl acetate. Any cloudiness of the organic phase can be removed by filtration over Celite.

After evaporation of the organic phase, 131 g (97 %) of semi-ester Ca remain : 1H-NMR (CDCI3) : 1.25 (t, 3H); 2.03 (s, 3H); 2.71 (d, 2H); 2.77 (d, 2H); 4.14 (q, 2H); 5.50 (quin. , 1H). c) Determination of the enantiomeric excess (ee) of the monoacid Ca by means of the amide Da (R = ethyl. A = acetvl) : 150 mg of the monoacid Ca are reacted in accordance with the customary methods of peptide coupling with 341 mg of (benzotriazol-1-yloxy)-tris (dirriethylamino) phosphonium hexafluorophosphate, 246 mg of Hunig's base and 93 ul of R-phenylethylamine (Fluka, Buchs, Switzerland) in 1.5 ml of DMF at room temperature. After customary extraction, 188 mg of amide Da are obtained. NMR spectroscopy indicates a diastereoisomeric ratio of 99: 1 on the basis of the shift difference between the two diastereoisomeric acetates and accordingly a ratio of R to S of 99: 1. HPLC analysis (column: Chiracel OJ 25 cm x 0.46 cm (Daicel Chemical Industries, Ltd. , JP), n-hexane: ethanol = 95: 5, flow rate 1.2 ml/min, UV detection at 210 nm) confirms the ratio of R to S as 98.8 : 1. 2.'H-NMR (CDCI3) : 1.15 (t, 3H); 1.35 (d, 3H); 1.85 and 1.87 (2 x s, total 3H, ratio as 99: 1); 2.47 (m, 2H); 2.55 (dd, 1 H) ; 2.65 (d, 1 H) ; 4.01 (broad q, 1 H) ; 5.00 (quint. , 1 H) ; 5.38 (m, 1 H) ; 6.51 (broad d, NH); 7.20 (m, 5H).

Example 2: a) Precursor of formula Bb wherein R-ethvl, A = methoxvacerl (diethyl-3-methoxy- acetoxglutaric acid) : 50.0 g of diethyl-3-hydroxyglutaric acid (Fluka, Buchs, Switzerland) are dissolved at 0°C in 80 mi of dichloromethane ; 20.6 ml of pyridine and 22.9 ml of methoxyacetyl chloride are added and the mixture is stirred at room temperature for about 12 h until all the starting material has reacted. The mixture is washed in succession with water, 1 N hydrochloric acid, saturated sodium hydrogen carbonate solution and saturated sodium chloride solution. The organic phase is separated and dried over magnesium sulfate. After evaporation of the organic solvent, a dark-yellow syrup is obtained which is filtered over a small amount of silica gel using hexane/ethyl acetate (2: 1). After evaporation of the solvent, 65.0 g of NMR- spectroscopically pure methoxyacetate Bb are obtained :'H-NMR (CDCI3) : 1.20 (t, 3H); 2.65 (d, 4H); 3. 35 (s, 3H); 3.90 (s, 2H); 4.04 (q, 4H); 5.55 (quin. , 1H). b) Compound of formula Cb wherein R = ethyl. A = methoxyacetyl (monoethyl-3 (R)- methoxvacetoxyglutaric acid): 40.0 g of diethyl-3-methoxyacetoxyglutaric acid Bb are suspended at room temperature in 150 ml of distilled water, and 43 ml of 0.1 M phosphate buffer (pH 7) are added. After the addition of 0.4 g of a-chymotrypsin (Sigma; Sigma Chemie, Buchs, Switzerland), the mixture is stirred vigorously and maintained at pH 7.8 using a pH meter and pH stat (Metrohm) and 0.5N sodium hydroxide solution. After 18 h, a further 0.1 g of chymotrypsin is added and stirring is continued until the theoretical amount of hydroxide solution has been consumed.

The mixture is then extracted with ethyl acetate (4 x). The aqueous phase is adjusted to pH 1 with concentrated hydrochloric acid (conc. HO) and then extracted with ethyl acetate.

Any cloudiness of the organic phase can be removed by filtration over Celite. After evaporation of the organic phase, 24.8 g of semi-ester Cb remain :'H-NMR (CDCI3) : 1.24 (t, 3H); 2.74 (d, 2H); 2.75 (d, 2H); 3.42 (s, 3H); 3.99 (s, 2H); 4.14 (q, 2H); 5.59 (quin. , 1H).

Alternatively, immobilised chymotrypsin can also advantageously be used. It can be supported on silica gel (Sigma S0507, 230-400 mesh, average pore diameter 0.6 nm ; Sigma Chemie, Buchs, Switzerland) by customary methods without loss of activity, easily removed and then used repeatedly. c) Determination of the enantiomeric excess (ee) of the monoacid Cb by means of benzamide Db (R = ethvl, A = methoxvacetvl) : 200 mg of the monoacid Cb are reacted by customary methods of peptide coupling with 392 mg of (benzotriazol-1-yloxy)-tris (dimethylamino) phosphonium hexafluorophosphate, 290 ul of Hunig's base and 88 ul of benzylamine (Fluka, Buchs, Switzerland) in 2.0 mi of DMF at room temperature. After customary extraction, 178 mg of amide Db are obtained.

HPLC analysis (Chiracel OD 25 cm x 0.46 cm (Daicel Chemical Industries, Ltd. , JP), n- hexane: ethanol = 9: 1, flow rate 1 ml/min, UV detection at 210 nm) yields a ratio of R to S of 98.6 : 1. 4. tH-NMR (CDCI3) : 1.22 (t, I = 7.0, 3H); 2.62 (d, I = 6.5, 2H); 2.75 (dd, I = 15.8, 5.3, 2H); 3.35 (s, 3H); 3.91 (s, 2H); 4.10 (q, I = 7.0, 2H); 4.38 (d, I = 5.9, 2H); 5.56-5. 65 (m, 1H) ; 6.31 (t, br, NH); 7.21-7. 33 (m, 5H). d) Purification of the compound Cb wherein R = ethyl. A = methoxvacetyl (monoethyl-3 (R) - methoxvacetoxyalutaric acid): 500 g of monoacid Cb are dissolved in 2 litres of ter-butyl methyl ether and heated to <BR> <BR> boiling. 400 ml (1 eq. ) of dicyclohexylamine dissolved in 2 litres of tert-butyl methyl ether are added dropwise in the course of 10 min, followed by 4 litres of n-hexane. If crystallisation does not start spontaneously, seeding is carried out, followed by cooling to 5-10°C. The resulting crystals are filtered off with suction and dried in vacuo at 70°C. Yield : 694 g, 80 % white crystals, m. p. = 111 °C. 3 g of the resulting salt are dissolved in 20 ml of water, NaC ! is added to the solution and 1 eq. of 3N hydrochloric acid is added. The precipitated dicyclo- hexylamin hydrochloride is filtered off with suction and the clear filtrate is extracted repeatedly with tert-butyl methyl ether. After drying and removal of the solvent, 1.6 g, 92 %, of monoacid Cb are obtained; ee > 99.5 %, determined by way of the benzamide analogously to c).

Example 3: a) Precursor of formula Bc wherein R = ethvl. A = methoxvmethyl (diethvl-3-methoxv- methoxvalutaric acid): 97.2 g of diethyl-3-hydroxyglutaric acid A (Fluka) are dissolved at 0°C together with 210 ml of formaldehyde dimethylacetal in 350 ml of dichloromethane, and 61.3 g of phosphorus pentoxide are added in portions. The mixture is stirred vigorously overnight, the temperature of the mixture rising to room temperature. When conversion is complete (TLC monitoring), the mixture is decanted off, diluted with methylene chloride and washed in succession with 2 x saturated sodium hydrogen carbonate solution and saturated sodium chloride solution.

The organic phase is separated and dried over magnesium sulfate. After evaporation of the solvent, a colourless fluid is obtained which is distilled at 98-101°C/0. 17 torr. 104.8 g (89 %) of a colourless fluid, the title compound, are obtained :'H-NMR (CDC13) : 1.15 (t, 3H); 2.53 (m, 4H); 3.24 (s, 3H); 4.05 (q, 4H); 4.30 (quin. , 1 H) ; 4.58 (s, 2H). b) Compound of formula Cc wherein R = ethyl, A = methoxymethyl (monoethyl-3 (R)- methoxvmethoxvalutaric acid) : 7.4 g of diethyl-3-methoxymethoxyglutaric acid Bc are suspended at room temperature in 100 ml of distilled water, and 20 ml of 0.1 M phosphate buffer (pH 7) are added. After the addition of 1.0 g of chymotrypsin, the mixture is stirred vigorously and maintained at pH 7.8 using a pH meter and pH stat (Metrohm) and 0.5N sodium hydrogen carbonate solution.

When the theoretical amount of carbonate solution has been consumed, the mixture is extracted with ethyl acetate. The aqueous phase is adjusted to pH 3-3.5 with 0. 5N hydro- chloric acid and then extracted with ethyl acetate. Any cloudiness of the organic phase can be removed by filtration over Celite. After washing of the organic phase with saturated sodium chloride solution and evaporation of the organic phase, 5.4 g (82 %) of spectro- scopically clean monoacid, the title compound, remain : 1H-NMR (CDCI3) : 1.24 (t, 3H); 2.69 (m, 4H); 3.34 (s, 3H); 4.13 (q, 2H) ; 4.38 (quin. , 1H) ; 4.68 (s, 2H). c) Determination of the enantiomeric excess (ee) of the monoacid Cc by means of the amide with benzylamine : 400 mg of the monoacid are reacted by customary methods for peptide coupling with 760 mg of (benzotriazolyl-1-yloxy)-tris (dimethylamino) phosphonium hexafluorophosphate, 215 W of Hunig's base and 0.70 ml of benzylamine (Fluka) in 2.0 mi of DMF at from 0°C to room temperature. After customary extraction, 567 mg of amide are obtained. HPLC analysis (Chiralcel OD, 25 x 0.46 cm, n-hexane : ethanol = 98: 2,1 ml/min) confirms a ratio of R to S of more than 98 : 2. 1H-NMR (CDCI3) : 1. 19 (t, 3H), 2.48 (dd, 2H); 2.56 (dd, 1H) ; 3.24 (s, 2H); 4.06 (broad q, 1 H) ; 4.34 (m, 3H); 4.59 (m, 2H); 7.00 (broad s, NH); 7.20 (m, 5H).

Example 4: a) Precursor of formula Bd wherein R = ethyl A = 2-methoxyethoxymethyl (diethy(2- methoxvethv))-oxvmethoxyg) utaricacid) : At 0°C, 11.23 g of diethyl-3-hydroxyglutaric acid A (Fluka) are introduced together with 11.8 mi of diisopropylethylamine into 40 ml of dichloromethane, and 8.6 g of 2-methoxy- ethoxymethyl chloride (Fluka) are added. The mixture is stirred vigorously overnight, the temperature of the mixture rising to room temperature. The mixture is diluted with methylene chloride and washed in succession with 2 x 1 N hydrochloric acid, 2 x saturated sodium hydrogen carbonate solution and saturated sodium chloride solution. The organic phase is separated and dried over magnesium sulfate. After evaporation of the solvent, a colourless liquid is obtained, 15.91 g (99 %), the title compound.'H-NMR (CDCI3) : 1.20 (t, 3H); 2.59 (m, 4H); 3.32 (s, 3H); 3. 49 (m, 2H); 3.63 (m, 2H); 4.09 (q, 4H); 4.36 (quin., 1H) ; 4.73 (s, 2H). b) Compound of formula Cd wherein R = ethyl, A = 2-methoxvethoxymethvl (monoethyl- 3 (R)-(2-methoxvethvl)-oxymethoxvqlutaric acid) : 7.4 g of diethyl-3- (2-methoxyethyl)-oxymethoxyglutaric acid Bd are suspended at room temperature in 30 mi of distilled water, and 3.3 mi of 0.1 M phosphate buffer (pH 7) are added. After the addition of 0.1 g of chymotrypsin, the mixture is stirred vigorously and maintained at pH 7.8 using a pH meter and pH stat (Metrohm) and 0.5N sodium hydroxide solution. When the theoretical amount of hydroxide solution has been consumed, the mixture is extracted with ethyl acetate. The aqueous phase is adjusted to pH 3-3.5 with 0. 5N hydrochloric acid and then extracted with ethyl acetate. Any cloudiness of the organic phase can be removed by filtration over Celite. After washing of the organic phase with saturated sodium chloride solution and evaporation of the organic phase, 1.44 g (79 %) of spectroscopically clean monoacid, the title compound, remain : H-NMR (CDC13) : 1.25 (t, 3H); <BR> <BR> 2.02 (s, 3H); 2.67 (m, 4H); 3.38 (s, 3H); 3.55 (m, 2H); 3.69 (m, 2H); 4.12 (q, 4H); 4.41 (quin. , 1 H) ; 4.79 (q, 2H). c) Determination of the enantiomeric excess (ee) of the monoacid Cc by means of the amide Dc ((R-ethvl A = 2-methoxvethoxvmethyl ! : 380 mg of the monoacid Cd are reacted in accordance with customary methods for peptide coupling with 682 mg of (benzotriazolyl-1-yloxy)-tris (dimethylamino) phosphonium hexa- fluorophosphate, 493 ul of Hunig's base and 185 lli of R-phenylethylamine (Fluka) in 3.0 ml of DMF at from 0°C to room temperature. After customary extraction, 403 mg of amide are obtained. NMR-spectroscopy indicates a diastereoisomeric ratio of greater than 95: 5 on the basis of the shift difference between the two methoxy groups in the diastereoisomers. HPLC analysis (Chiralcel OD, 25 x 0.46 cm, n-hexane: ethanol = 95: 5,1 ml/min) confirms the ratio of R to S as 98: 2. 1H-NMR (CDCI3) : 1. 22 (t, 3H), 1.45 (d, 3H); 2.48 (m, 2H); 2.62 (m, 2H); <BR> <BR> 3.30 (s, ca. 5%); 3.38 (s, 95 %); 3.50 (m, 4H); 4.12 (1, 1H) ; 4.34 (quint. , 1H) ; 4.79 (q, 2H);<BR> 5.11 (quint. , 1 H) ; 6.54 (broad d, NH), 7. 34 (m, 5H).

Reaction scheme 11 for Examples 5 and 7 (the radicals being as defined in the Examples): Example 5: Glutaric acid semihalides of formula 1 a) Monoethyl ester of (3R)-acetoxy-glutaric acid chloride 1 a (R = ethyl, X = Cl, R'= acetyl : 30.0 g of (3R)-acetoxyglutaric acid monoethyl ester (Ca) are dissolved in 60 mi of dry dichloromethane to which 20 drops of dry DMF have been added, and at 0-5°C the solution is slowly treated with 21.9 g of oxalyl chloride. The mixture is then stirred for about 30 min. at 0°C and then for a further 1.5 h at room temperature until the evolution of gas can no longer be observed. After evaporation of the solvent, 32.6 g of NMR-spectroscopically pure acid chloride 1a remain. (Colourless product can be obtained after molecular distillation). 1H-NMR (CDCI3) : 1. 25 (t, 3H); 2. 04 (s, 3H); 2.66 (dd, 1 H) ; 2.70 (dd, 1 H) ; 3.30 (dd, 1 H) ; 3.34 (dd, 1 H) ; 4. 16 (q, 2H); 5.47 (m, 1H). b) Monoethv) ester of (3R)-acetoxvalutaric acid bromide 1 b (R-ethvl. X = Br. R'= acetvI) : 5.0 g of (3R)-acetoxyglutaric acid monoethyl ester (Ca) are dissolved in 18 ml of dry dichloromethane to which a drop of dry DMF has been added, and at 0-5°C the solution is slowly treated with 6.7 g of oxalyl bromide. The mixture is then stirred for about 30 min. at 0°C and then for a further 2 h at room temperature until the evolution of gas can no longer be observed. After evaporation of the solvent, 6.6 g (98 %) of spectroscopically pure acid bromide 1b remain : tH-NMR (CDCIS) : 1.21 (t, 3H); 2.00 (s, 3H); 2.62 (dd, 1H) ; 3.39 (dd, 1H) ; 3.42 (dd, 1H) ; 4.11 (q, 2H); 5.41 (m, 1H). <BR> <BR> c) Monoethyl ester of (3R)-methoxyacetoxyglutaric acid chloride 1c (R = ethyl, X = Cl, R'=<BR> methoxyacetyn : 21.0 g of monoethyl-3 (R)-methoxyacetoxyglutaric acid Cb are dissolved in 100 ml of dry dichloromethane to which 40 gui of dry DMF has been added, and at 0-5°C the solution is slowly treated with 13.9 g of oxalyl chloride. The mixture is then stirred for about 4 h, the temperature of the mixture rising to room temperature. The mixture is then diluted with ethyl acetate and extracted 3 x with ice-water, and the organic phase is dried over sodium sulfate.

After evaporation of the solvent, 20.9 g of NMR-spectroscopically pure acid chloride 1c remain : rH-NMR (CDCI3) : 1.20 (t, 3H); 2.04 (s, 3H); 2.67 (m, 2H); 3.32 (m, 2H); 3.36 (s, 3H); 3.95 (s, 2H); 4.09 (q, 2H); 5.52 (m, 1H). d) Monoethvl ester of (3R)-methoxvmethoxy, qlutaric acid chloride Id (R = ethyl, X = Cl, R'= methoxymethyl) : 0.40 g of the monoacid Cc is dissolved in 2 ml of dry dichloromethane to which 3 drops of dry DMF are added, and at 0-5°C the solution is slowly treated with 0. 18 ml of oxalyl chloride until the evolution of gas can no longer be observed. After evaporation of the solvent, 0.43 g of acid chloride Id remains: tH-NMR (CDCls) : 1.25 (t, 3H); 2.67 (m, 4H); 3.69 (s, 3H); 4.13 (q, 2H); 5.53 (q, 1H) ; 5.54 (s, 2H). e) Monoethyl ester of (3R)-(2-methoxvethyl)-oxvmethoxvglutaric acid chloride le (R = ethyl.

X = Cl, R'= 2-methoxyeth rLxymethyll : 0.53 g of the monoacid Cd is dissolved in 2 mi of dry dichloromethane to which 2 drops of dry DMF have been added, and at 0-5°C the solution is slowly treated with 0.21 ml of oxalyl chloride until the evolution of gas can no longer be observed. After evaporation of the solvent, 0.54 g of acid chloride 1e remains :'H-NMR (CDCI3) : 1.21 (t, 3H); 2.55 (m, 1H) ; 2.65 (m, 1H) ; 3.24 (m, 2H); 3.34 (s, 3H); 3.50 (m, 2H); 3.65 (m, 2H); 4.10 (q, 2H); 4.38 (quint. , 1 H) ; 4.74 (m, 2H).

Example 6: Preparation of compounds 11. 12. 13 and 5' (i) (f) Preparation of 11a (R = ethyl, R'= acetvl, R* = H, R** = H) 50 g of (3R)-acetoxyglutaric acid monomethyl ester monochloride la are dissolved in 500 mi of ter-butyl methyl ether and at 0°C treated with ammonia gas until the absorption of ammonia has ceased. The precipitated ammonium chloride is filtered off. After evaporation of the solvent, 44.5 g (97 %) of NMR-spectroscopically pure amide 11a remain :'H-NMR (CDCI3) : 1. 24 (t, 3H); 2.02 (s, 3H); 2.60 (dd, 2H); 2.72 (m, 2H); 4.13 (q, 2H); 5.47 (m, 1H) ; 5.95 (s, br, 2H).

(ii) (f) Preparation of 11 b (R = ethyl, R = acetyl. R* = benzyl, R** = benzyl At 0°C, a mixture of 41.7 g of dibenzylamine and 21.4 g of triethylamine is slowly added dropwise to 50 g of (3R)-acetoxyglutaric acid monomethyl ester monochloride 1a in 250 mi of methylene chloride and the mixture is stirred at room temperature for a further 2 h. The reaction mixture is then washed with 100 ml of 0. 1 N HCI and 2 x 100 ml of water and the organic phase is dried over sodium sulfate. After evaporation of the solvent, 79.8 g (95 %) of NMR-spectroscopically pure dibenzylamide 2b remain :'H-NMR (CDCI3) : 1.24 (t, 3H); 1.99 (s, 3H); 2.72 (m, 2H), 2.90 (m, 2H); 4.13 (qq, 2H); 4.48 (q, 2H); 4.55 (q, 2H), 5.63 (m, 1H), 7.25 (m, 10H).

(iii) (f) Preparation of 11c (R = ethvl. R = H, R* = benzyl R** = benzyl) 60 g of (3R)-acetoxyglutaric acid monoethyl ester mono (N, N-dibenzyl) amide 11b are stirred in 600 mi of 2M ethanolic HO at room temperature for 12 h. After evaporation of the solvent, 53.1 g (99 %) of NMR-spectroscopically pure dibenzylamide 11c remain : 1H-NMR (CDCI3) : 1.24 (t, 3H); 2.60 (m, 2H); 2.90 (m, 2H); 4.10 (q, 2H); 4.43 (m, 2H), 4.50 (m, 1H), 4.55 (m, 2H), 7.25 (m, 10 H).

(ix) (k) Preparation of 5'a (Ra = ter-butyl R'and R"together = isopropyiidene) Starting from 13, the amine 5'a is prepared by reduction with hydrogen in the presence of ammonia and a molybdenum-doped Raney nickel catalyst in methanol (see Baumann, K. L., et al., Tetrahedron Lett. 33 (17), 2283-2284 (1992) ).

(x) (a) Preparation of 12a (Ra-tert-butyl, R'= H. R* = benzyl. R** = benzv (1 At-20°C, 500 ml of butyllithium (1.6M in hexane) are slowly added to 86.0 g of diisopropyl- amine in 200 ml of THF and the reaction mixture is stirred for a further 10 min. Then 92.8 g of tert-butyl acetate are slowly added and stirring is continued for a further hour at-20°C. A solution of 71 g of 11 c in 150 ml of THF is then slowly added and the reaction mixture is stirred for a further 2 h at-20°C, then slowly heated to room temperature and stirred for a further 2 h. 500 ml of 4N hydrochloric acid are then slowly added and the phases are separated. The organic phase is washed with 2 x 250 ml of saturated sodium chloride solution and dried over sodium sulfate. After evaporation of the solvent, 85 g of crude dibenzylamine 12a remain :'H-NMR (CDCI3) : 1.46 (d, d, 9H); 2.55 (m, 2H); 3.39 (s, 2H); 4.42 (s, 2H); 4.54 (m, 1H) ; 4.58 (s, 2H); 7.25 (m, 10H).

(xi) (h) Preparation of the compound 13a (Ra = tert-butvl. Ft'= H, R"-H. R* = benzyl. R** =<BR> benzyl ! At-40°C, a solution of 18. 6 g of 12a in 50 ml of THF is slowly added to a mixture of 130 mi of THF, 70 ml of methanol and 70 ml of triethylborane (1 M in THF) and the reaction mixture is cooled to-70°C. 2.85 g of sodium borohydride are added in 5 portions and stirring is con- tinued at-70°C for a further 90 min. After the addition of 85 ml of 1 M hydrochloric acid, the reaction mass is heated to room temperature. 100 ml of ethyl acetate and 10 g of sodium chloride are added and the phases are separated. The organic phase is dried with sodium sulfate and the solvent is evaporated off. The residue is 5 x taken up in 100 mi of methanol and concentrated by evaporation. 17.7 g (95 %) of crude syn-dihydroxy-dibenzylamide 13a remain :'H-NMR (CDCI3) : 1.46 (dd, 9H); 1.58 (m, 2H); 2.32 (m, 2H); 2.51 (m, 2H); 4.11 (m, 1 H) ; 4.20 (m, 1 H) ; 4.35 (m, 2H); 4.51 (q, 2H); 7.25 (m, 1 OH).

(xii) (Conversion according to h) Preparation of 13b (Ra = tert-butyl, R'and R"together isopropvtidene. R* = benzv). R** = benzyl) 17.0 g of crude 13a are dissolved in 50 ml of 2,2-dimethoxypropane. After the addition of 0.2 ml of HCI (4M in dioxane), the solution is stirred for 2 h at room temperature. Washing is then carried out with 50 ml of saturated sodium hydrogen carbonate solution and the organic phase is dried over sodium sulfate. After evaporation of the solvent, 18. 3 g (98 %) of NMR- spectroscopically pure acetonide 13b remain : 1H-NMR (CDCI3) : 1.27 (s, 3H); 1.36 (s, 9H); 1.38 (m, 2H); 1.42 (s, 3H); 2.33 (m, 4H); 4.20 (m, 1 H) ; 4.25 (dd, 2H); 4.44 (m, 1 H) ; 4.67 (dd, 2H); 7.25 (m, 10H).

(xiii) (i) Preparation of the compound 5a (Ra = tert-butyl, R'and R"together = isopropyl- idene) 30 mi of borane in THF (1 M) are added to a solution of 4.7 g of crude 13b in 20 ml of THF and stirring is carried out for 1 h at room temperature. The solution is then heated to 40°C and stirred for a further 4 h. 20 ml of saturated sodium hydrogen carbonate solution is added to the reaction solution and extraction is then carried out with 20 ml of ethyl acetate.

The organic phase is washed with 2 x 10 ml of water and dried over sodium sulfate. After evaporation of the solvent, the residue is taken up in 20 ml of ethanol and hydrogenated with 5 % palladium on carbon at 55°C/20 bar. After the catalyst has been filtered off and the solvent evaporated, 1.8 g (67 %) of crude amine 5a remain. The spectroscopic data correspond (except for the butyl radical Ra which differs) to those of compound 5a.

(xiv) (i) Preparation of the compound 5 (Ra = tert-butyl. R'and R"together = isopropviidene) A solution of 1.52 kg of 13 in 2 It diglyme was charged into a 5 I reactor. To this solution was added 246 g sodium borohydride. 0.78 I trimethyl silyl chloride was added slowly over a period of 1 hour. The reaction mixture was diluted with 1 It hexane. The resulting reaction mixture was slowly poored into a mixture of 2 It sodium hydrogene carbonate and 2 It hexane. The reaction mixture was heated to reflux and stirred for an additional 2-3 hours.

The reaction mixture was cooled to room temperature and the 2 phases were separated.

The hexane phase was washed 4 times with 3 It water and stirred for 1 hour with 0.1 kg active carbon. After filtration and evaporation of the solvent 1.3 kg of 5c was obtained as a yellow oil and subsequently 1.3 kg of 5c charged in a 5 It autoclave with 2.7 It methanol and 0.3 It water and purged with nitrogen. 62.5 g Pd-C were added and the autoclave was purged 3 times with hydrogen followed by hydrogenation of the reaction mixture at 10 bar at a temperature of 70°C for 3 hours. The catalyst was removed by filtration and the solvent was removed in vacuum leaving a cloudy residue. This residue is poured into a well stirred suspension of 0.2 kg silica gel in 2.5 It heptane. This suspension is filtered after 30 min and the filter cake is washed with heptane. This procedure gives 3.3 kg of a light yellow heptane solution, containing 460 gr 5a.

Example 7 : Further use of compound 5 from Reaction scheme li : For the preparation of atorvastatin, a compound 5 is reacted with a compound of formula 17 analogously to the conditions described in WO 89/07598 for the reaction between that compound and a compound of formula H2N-CH2CH2-CH (OR, 0) (OR1,), wherein Rio and R are alkyl having up to 8 carbon atoms or together are 1, 2- (1-methyl) ethylidene, 1, 2-ethyl- idene or 1, 3-propylidene. Subsequent removal of protecting groups and, if necessary, opening of the lactone ring yields atorvastatin.

Example 8: syn-Selective Hydroqenation of 6-Dibenzylcarbamoyl-5-hydroxy-3-oxo-hexanoic acid ter-butyl ester (use of compound 12 from Reaction scheme 11) 950 g 6-Dibenzylcarbamoyl-5-hydroxy-3-oxo-hexanoic acid ter-butyl ester was dissolved in 3. 81 methanol and transferred into a 6. 31 steel autoclave. 285 g Pt/C (5 %) wetted with 200 mi methanol and 71.25 g magnesium acetate were added and the autoclave was purged three times with nitrogen and three times with hydrogen. Hydrogenation was conducted at 25 bar and 35°C for 18 h. After cooling to room temperature, the pressure was released, purged with nitrogen and the catalyst was filtered off and washed with 1 I methanol. Most of the solvent was distilled off, the residue was dissolved in 31 ethylacetate and washed two times with 1 I water. The organic phase was evaporated to dryness.

Yield : 932 g 13a yellow oil (98%), with a syn/ant ratio of 7. 6/1.