Preparation of N-sulfonyl- and N-carbonyl-11-azaartemisinins with greatly enhanced thermal stabilities: In vitro antimalarial activities

Richard K. Haynes, Ho Ning Wong, Kin Wo Lee, Chung Man Lung, Lai Yung Shek, Ian D. Williams, Simon L. Croft, Livia Vivas, Lauren Rattray, Lindsay Stewart, Vincent K.W. Wong, Chi Bun Ko

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


As the clinically used artemisinins do not withstand the thermal stress testing required to evaluate shelf life for storage in tropical countries where malaria is prevalent, there is a need to develop thermally more robust artemisinin derivatives. Herein we describe the attachment of electron-withdrawing arene- and alkanesulfonyl and -carbonyl groups to the nitrogen atom of the readily accessible Ziffer 11-azaartemisinin to provide the corresponding N-sulfonyl-and -carbonylazaartemisinins. Two acylurea analogues were also prepared by treatment of the 11-azaartemisinin with arylisocyanates. Several of the N-sulfonylazaartemisinins have melting points above 200°C and possess substantially greater thermal stabilities than the artemisinins in current clinical use, with the antimalarial activities of several of the arylsulfonyl derivatives being similar to that of artesunate against the drug-sensitive 3D7 clone of the NF54 isolate and the multidrug-resistant K1 strain of P. falciparum. The compounds possess relatively low cytotoxicities. The carbonyl derivatives are less crystalline than the N-sulfonyl derivatives, but are generally more active as antimalarials. The N-nitroarylcarbonyl and arylurea derivatives possess sub-ngml-1activities. Although several of the azaartemisinins possess logP values below 3.5, the compounds have poor aqueous solubility (<1 mg L-1at pH 7). The greatly enhanced thermal stability of our artemisinins suggests that strategic incorporation of electron-withdrawing polar groups into both new artemisinin derivatives and totally synthetic trioxanes or trioxolanes may assist in the generation of practical new antimalarial drugs which will be stable to storage conditions in the field, while retaining favorable physicochemical properties. KGaA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1464-1479
Number of pages16
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Antimalarials
  • Artemisinins
  • Azaartemisinins
  • Homolysis
  • Thermal stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Organic Chemistry

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