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Details for Patent: 8,039,657

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Details for Patent: 8,039,657

Title:Process for preparing malathion for pharmaceutical use
Abstract: The present invention provides a process for preparing a highly pure form of malathion having a reduced level of toxic impurities. In addition, the malathion prepared by the process of this invention is storage stable. The level of toxic impurities in the malathion, e.g., isomalathion, O,O,S-trimethyl phosphorodithioate (MeOOSPS), O,O,S-trimethyl phosphorothioate (MeOOSPO), O,S,S-trimethyl phosphorodithioate (MeOSSPO), malaoxon, isomalathion, diethyl fumarate, methyl malathion, dimethyl malathion, O,O-methyl,ethyl-S-(1,2-dicarboethoxy)ethyl-phosphorodithioate are lower than that of any other commercial preparation of malathion that may be used for pharmaceutical purposes.
Inventor(s): Gutman; Daniella (Rishon Lezion, IL), Baidussi; Wael (Hamisholash, IL)
Assignee: Taro Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc. (Grand Cayman, KY)
Filing Date:Jan 14, 2009
Application Number:12/353,678
Claims:1. A process for preparing malathion, comprising the steps of (a) preparing a solution of O,O-dimethyldithiophosphoric acid by reacting phosphorous sulfide with methanol in an organic solvent; (b) extracting the O,O-dimethyldithiophosphoric acid into water to generate an aqueous solution of O,O-dimethyldithiophosphoric acid; (c) reacting the aqueous solution of O,O-dimethyldithiophosphoric acid with diethyl maleate to form malathion; and, (d) treating the malathion from step (c) with a sulfur reagent, wherein the sulfur reagent has a pH less than 7.0.

2. The process of claim 1, wherein the organic solvent is selected from the group consisting of toluene, xylene and benzene.

3. The process of claim 1, wherein the organic solvent is toluene.

4. The process of claim 1, wherein the ratio of water to O,O-dimethyldithiophosphoric acid in step (b) is about 1:1 to about 10:1 (w/w).

5. The process of claim 1, wherein the ratio of water to O,O-dimethyldithiophosphoric acid is about 3:1 (w/w).

6. The process of claim 1, wherein the solution of O,O-dimethyldithiophosphoric acid in step (a) is filtered before extraction into water in step (b).

7. The process of claim 1, wherein the solution of O,O-dimethyldithiophosphoric acid in step (a) is distilled before extraction into water in step (b).

8. The process of claim 1, wherein the molar ratio of diethyl maleate to O,O-dimethyldithiophosphoric acid in step (c) is about 1:1 to about 2:1.

9. The process of claim 1, wherein the molar ratio of diethyl maleate to O,O-dimethyldithiophosphoric acid in step (c) is about 1:1.

10. The process of claim 1, wherein a polymerization inhibitor is added to step (c) during the reaction of the aqueous solution of O,O-dimethyldithiophosphoric acid with the solution of diethyl maleate.

11. The process of claim 10 wherein the molar ratio of diethyl maleate to the polymerization inhibitor is about 50:1 to about 500:1.

12. The process of claim 10, wherein the molar ratio of diethyl maleate to polymerization inhibitor is about 300:1.

13. The process of claim 10, wherein the polymerization inhibitor is hydroquinone.

14. The process of claim 1, wherein the sulfur reagent is selected from the group consisting of alkali metal bisulfites and alkaline earth metal bisulfites.

15. The process of claim 1, wherein the sulfur reagent is sodium bisulfite.

16. The process of claim 1, wherein the sulfur reagent comprises a 20% sodium bisulfite solution having a pH from about 6.1 to about 6.3.

17. The process of claim 16, wherein the malathion in step (d) is treated with the 20% sodium bisulfite solution for about 2 hours.

18. The process of claim 1 further comprising the steps of (e) adding water to the malathion to form a mixture; (f) distilling water from the mixture.

19. The process of claim 18, wherein the ratio of water to malathion in step (e) is about 3:1 (w/w).

20. The process of claim 1 wherein the pH is between about 6.0 and 7.0.

21. The process of claim 1, wherein O,O-dimethyldithiophosphoric acid in step (a) is prepared by a process comprising the steps of: (i) adding phosphorous pentasulfide (P.sub.2S.sub.5) to toluene to form a suspension; (ii) heating the suspension to about 60.degree. C.; (iii) adding methanol to the suspension; (iv) stirring the suspension after addition of the methanol for at least about 1 hour, while maintaining the temperature of the suspension from about 55.degree. C. to about 60.degree. C.; (v) filtering the suspension from step (iv) after cooling to about 18.degree. C. to about 25.degree. C.; and, (vi) subjecting the suspension from step (v) to vacuum distillation.

22. The process of claim 1 further comprising isolating the malathion from step (d) after treatment with the sulfur reagent.

23. The process of claim 17 further comprising the steps of: (e) washing the malathion in step (d) after treatment with the 20% sodium bisulfite solution with water; (f) washing the malathion in step (e) with NaOH solution; and, (g) washing the malathion in step (f) at least two times with water.

24. The process of claim 23 further comprising the steps of (h) assaying the malathion from step (g) for the presence of at least one impurity selected from the group consisting of MeOOSPS, malaoxon, diethyl fumarate, dimethyl malathion, methyl malathion, isomalathion and O,O-methyl,ethyl S-(1,2-dicarboethoxy)ethyl phosphorodithioate, and combinations thereof; (i) assaying the malathion for purity; and (j) repeating steps (e) to (i) if the malathion at step (g) contains greater than about 5.0% (w/w) diethyl fumarate.

25. The process of claim 23 further comprising the steps of (l) adding water to the malathion; (m) subjecting the malathion to azeotropic distillation; and (n) repeating steps (l) to (m) at least one (1) time.

26. The process of claim 25, wherein the ratio of water to malathion in step (l) is from about 2:1 (w/w) to about 10:1 (w/w).

27. The process of claim 25, wherein the ratio of water to malathion in step (l) is about 3:1 (w/w).

28. The process of claim 25 further comprising the steps of (p) assaying the malathion at step (o) for the presence of at least one impurity selected from the group consisting of MeOOSPO, MeOSSPO, malaoxon, MeOOSPS, diethyl fumarate, dimethyl malathion, methyl malathion, O,O-methyl, ethyl S-(1,2-dicarboethoxy)ethyl phosphorodithioate, tetraethyl dithiosuccinate, isomalathion, malathion carboxylic acid, mercaptosuccinate, tetraethyl thiodisuccinate and combinations thereof; (q) assaying the malathion for purity; and, (r) repeating steps (l) to (o) if the malathion in step (o) has greater than about 0.2% (w/w) MeOOSPS, greater than about 0.1% (w/w) malaoxon, greater than about 0.2% (w/w) diethyl fumarate, greater than about 0.2% (w/w) dimethylmalathion, greater than about 0.3% (w/w) methylmalathion, greater than about 0.1% (w/w) isomalathion, or there is less than about 98.5% (w/w) malathion.

29. The process of claim 1, wherein the malathion has a purity of greater than about 98.5% (w/w) and, containing less than about 0.1% (w/w) MeOOSPO, less than about 0.1% (w/w) MeOSSPO, less than about 0.2% (w/w) MeOOSPS, less than 0.1% (w/w) methyl malathion, less than 0.1% (w/w) malaoxon and less than about 0.1% (w/w) isomalathion.
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