Advanced Synthetic Process for Making Various Beta-Lactam Antibiotics

Tech ID: 21875 / UC Case 2009-564-0


The β-lactam ring is essential for antibiotic function within the broad class oβ-lactam antibiotics, which is divided into subclasses based on additional structural elements. One subclass in particular, the carbapenems, is produced by chemical synthesis rather than by fermentation. Since the carbapenems have shown themselves to be an important basic structure for active antibiotics, a great deal of effort, using synthetic organic chemistry, has been put toward the production of the key structural elements involved in the active pharmaceutical agents.

Technology Description

Researchers at UC Santa Cruz have developed a novel approach to the production of β-lactam compounds by decomposition of an α-diazo-β-ketoamide without the use of metal or chemical catalysts, and without the use of a mercury vapor lamp, which causes metal contamination. Instead, with the use of  a fluorescent light source, and using an inexpensive and enantiomerically pure (α-amino acid) starting material, this procedure is ideal for the synthesis of β-lactam antibiotics.


  • Production of advanced synthetic intermediates for the synthesis of various β-lactam antibiotics


  • Inexpensive starting materials and rapid formation of the key β-lactam structure in enantiomerically pure form, demonstrating it is pharmaceutically efficient
  • Good overall yield without metal contamination

Intellectual Property Information

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 8,946,408 02/03/2015 2009-564


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  • Konopelski, Joseph P.

Other Information


Beta-lactam, antibiotics, carbapenems, synthetic production, pharmaceutical, Cat1

Categorized As