Zanamivir, laninamivir, and CS-8958 are three neuraminidase inhibitors that have been clinically used to combat influenza. We report herein a novel organocatalytic route for preparing these agents. Only 13 steps are needed for the assembly of zanamivir and laninamivir from inexpensive D-araboascorbic acid by this synthetic route, which relies heavily on a thiourea-catalyzed enantioselective Michael addition of acetone to tert-butyl (2-nitrovinyl)carbamate and an anti-selective Henry reaction of the resulting Michael adduct with an aldehyde prepared from D-araboascorbic acid. The synthetic procedures are scalable, as evident from the preparation of more than 3.5 g of zanamivir.
Background: Abnormal behavior and delirium are common in children with influenza. While abnormal behavior and delirium are considered to be associated with influenza encephalopathy, an increased risk of such neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients receiving neuraminidase inhibitor treatment is suspected. Laninamivir octanoate hydrate, recently approved in Japan, is a long-acting neuraminidase inhibitor. It is important to establish a safety profile for laninamivir early, based on post-marketing experiences. Methods: Spontaneous safety reports collected in the early post-marketing phase vigilance were analyzed. Adverse events of interest such as abnormal behavior/delirium, dizziness/vertigo, respiratory disorders, shock/syncope, and any other serious events were intensively reviewed by the Safety Evaluation Committee. Results: Abnormal behavior/delirium was a frequently reported event. Almost all the reported cases were considered to be due to influenza and not laninamivir. There were 32 cases of abnormal behavior/delirium that could lead to dangerous accidents, and these were observed more frequently in males and teenagers. Syncope probably related to the act of inhalation per se of laninamivir was reported during this survey. Conclusions: This safety review revealed that the safety profile of laninamivir for abnormal behavior/delirium and syncope was similar to that of other neuraminidase inhibitors. As stated in the labeling, teenage patients inhaling laninamivir should remain under constant parental supervision for at least 2 days and should be closely monitored for behavioral changes to prevent serious accidents associated with abnormal behavior/delirium. Furthermore, to avoid syncope because of inhalation, patients should be instructed to inhale in a relaxed sitting position.