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ACS News

Merck team wins 2021 Peter J. Dunn Award

by Christiana Briddell
May 7, 2021 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 99, Issue 17


The American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable has presented the 2021 Peter J. Dunn Award for Green Chemistry and Engineering Impact in the Pharmaceutical Industry to the Merck & Co. team of Stephen Dalby, François Lévesque, Cecilia Bottecchia, and Jonathan McMullen for developing a greener manufacturing process for belzutifan using a photo-flow bromination.

Belzutifan is used in the treatment of cancer and other diseases. The team developed a more direct route from commodity chemical to active pharmaceutical ingredient, employed new reaction conditions, and incorporated a new photo-flow technology. According to L.-C. Campeau, executive director and head of process chemistry and discovery process chemistry at Merck, this is the “first example of a photo-flow reaction run on manufacturing scale at Merck and represents the linchpin of the synthesis.”

The improved process for belzutifan, which is expected to launch this year, will reduce the waste associated with its manufacture and is aligned with Merck’s corporate sustainability goals.

The award will be presented at the 25th Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference.


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