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Claims for Patent: 4,680,399

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Claims for Patent: 4,680,399

Title: Process for the isolation and purification of podophyllotoxin
Abstract:A process for obtaining purified podophyllotoxin from an impure podophyllotoxin containing starting material comprising forming a solution of the starting material, forming a solid complex of podophyllotoxin and an aromatic or heteroaromatic compound other than benzene, and separating the solid complex from the solution.
Inventor(s): Buchardt; Ole (Vaerlose, DK)
Assignee: pHarma-medica a-s (Herley, DK)
Application Number:06/773,929
Patent Claims: 1. In a process for obtaining purified podophyllotoxin from an impure podophyllotoxin containing starting material, the improvement comprising forming a solution of said starting material, forming a solid complex of podophyllotoxin and an aromatic or heteroaromatic compound other than benzene, and separating the solid complex from the solution.

2. A process according to claim 1 wherein the solid complex comprises podophyllotoxin, said aromatic or heteroaromatic compound and water.

3. A process according to claim 1 wherein the solvent for the solution comprises ethanol.

4. A process according to claim 1 wherein the complex is formed by adding said aromatic or heteroaromatic compound and water to the solution of said starting material.

5. A process according to claim 1 wherein a solution is formed by dissolving the separated complex in a solvent and the step of forming a solid complex of podophyllotoxin, an aromatic or heteroaromatic compound and optionally water and separating the solid complex from the solution is repeated.

6. A process according to claim 5 wherein different aromatic or heteroaromatic compounds are used in at least two successive stages.

7. A process for obtaining purified podophyllotoxin from a solution thereof which comprises

(a) forming a solid complex of podophyllotoxin and an aromatic or heteroaromatic compound and optionally water,

(b) separating the complex from the solution,

(c) forming a solution comprising podophyllotoxin from said separated complex,

(d) forming a solid complex of podophyllotoxin from the solution of step (c) and an aromatic or heteroaromatic compound and optionally water, and

(e) separating the solid complex formed in step (d) from the solution,

(f) isolating podophyllotoxin in free form from the separated complex,

wherein the aromatic or heteroaromatic compounds used in steps (a) and (d) are different.

8. A process according to claim 1 wherein the aromatic or heteroaromatic compounds used are selected from toluene, o-xylene, m-xylene, p-xylene, anisole, chlorobenzene, pyridine, phenol, nitrobenzene, quinoline, isoquinoline, furfuryl alcohol and naphthalene.

9. A process according to claim 1 in which the resulting product is subjected to a further purification step comprising contacting a solution thereof in a water-immiscible solvent with an aqueous base.

10. A process for removing impurities from a solution comprising impure podophyllotoxin and a water-immiscible organic solvent which comprises contacting the solution with an aqueous base.

11. A process according to claim 10 wherein the base is an alkali metal hydroxide.
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