Chiral Metal Complex Catalysis: From an Innovator to a Generic Business
The article discusses lifecycle management of chiral metal catalysis with focus on some of the key ligand families coming off-patent at present or in the near future. It gives a short overview of the patent situation of selected ligand families and provides a view on the possible implications of loss of patent protection for future development and industrial use of chiral metal complex catalysis.
Chiral metal complex catalysis (CMCC) is an advanced technology and accordingly entering its next phase of maturity – that of expiring patent protection. CMCC strongly depends upon the availability of chiral ligands . In the pioneering times most ligands were designed and prepared in academia. Thanks to the seminal work of Knowles and co-workers who successfully developed and introduced the l-Dopa production process in 1977 the technology found its way to commercial use. As an immediate result both academic as well as industrial laboratories pursued opportunities to develop, patent and in some cases commercialize chiral ligands. Today, several thousands of chiral ligands are known and several hundreds of these ligands are commercially available