Visible light photocatalysis in the late-stage functionalization of pharmaceutically relevant compounds†
The late stage functionalization (LSF) of complex biorelevant compounds is a powerful tool to speed up the identification of structure–activity relationships (SARs) and to optimize ADME profiles. To this end, visible-light photocatalysis offers unique opportunities to achieve smooth and clean functionalization of drugs by unlocking site-specific reactivities under generally mild reaction conditions. This review offers a critical assessment of current literature, pointing out the recent developments in the field while emphasizing the expected future progress and potential applications. Along with paragraphs discussing the visible-light photocatalytic synthetic protocols so far available for LSF of drugs and drug candidates, useful and readily accessible synoptic tables of such transformations, divided by functional groups, will be provided, thus enabling a useful, fast, and easy reference to them.