Influenza can affect the health of human being and it is considered as the most serious respiratory disease. (–)-Oseltamivir
phosphate, also popularly known as Tamiflu, has been reported to be one of the most potent chemotherapeutic agents with oral activity. It
can inhibit the viral neuraminidase enzyme to catalyze the cleavage of the sialic acid residue from glycoproteins, thus preventing the infected
cells to liberate the proliferated viruses. The industrial production method for oseltamivir phosphate uses (–)-shikimic acid as the
starting material, which is a natural product isolated from a plant of Chinese star anise (belonging to the Illicium family). However, because
the (–)-shikimic acid is unavailable in consistent purity and sufficient quantity, many chemists have dedicated some new synthetic
routes to prepare this drug for the treatment of influenza disease. In this article, the reported synthetic approaches for (–)-oseltamivir
phosphate since 2011 are reviewed, and the representative results are described in chronological order.
Keywords: Influenza, neuraminidase inhibitor, oseltamivir phosphate, synthetic methods, Tamiflu.
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