Improved batch and flow syntheses of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib†
The comparison of an improved conventional batch mode synthesis of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib with its flow chemistry alternative is reported. The stepwise and continuous flow synthesis of celecoxib was achieved by means of a Claisen condensation to access 4,4,4-trifluoro-1-(4-methyl-phenyl)-butane-1,3-dione followed by a cyclo-condensation reaction with 4-sulfamidophenylhydrazine hydrochloride to obtain the pyrazole moiety. A batch process was developed with improved work-up and purification (90% yield). This was successfully translated to flow in yields of 90–96% with greatly shortened reaction times (20 h vs. 1 h) and reduced chemical exposure.