Derisking the Cu-Mediated 18F-Fluorination of Heterocyclic Positron Emission Tomography Radioligands.
Taylor NJ., Emer E., Preshlock S., Schedler M., Tredwell M., Verhoog S., Mercier J., Genicot C., Gouverneur V.
Molecules labeled with fluorine-18 (18F) are used in positron emission tomography to visualize, characterize and measure biological processes in the body. Despite recent advances in the incorporation of 18F onto arenes, the development of general and efficient approaches to label radioligands necessary for drug discovery programs remains a significant task. This full account describes a derisking approach toward the radiosynthesis of heterocyclic positron emission tomography (PET) radioligands using the copper-mediated 18F-fluorination of aryl boron reagents with 18F-fluoride as a model reaction. This approach is based on a study examining how the presence of heterocycles commonly used in drug development affects the efficiency of 18F-fluorination for a representative aryl boron reagent, and on the labeling of more than 50 (hetero)aryl boronic esters. This set of data allows for the application of this derisking strategy to the successful radiosynthesis of seven structurally complex pharmaceutically relevant heterocycle-containing molecules.