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A method for the preparation of clindamycin hydrochloride by first preparing the novel intermediate, clindamycin phosphoryl benzylate. The method can be used to make other, structurally related compounds
This application is a division of application Ser. No. 07/234,717, filed 08/22/88, now U.S. Pat. No. 4,849,515.

Clindamycin, 7(S)-chloro-7-deoxylincomycin, the preparation of which is described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,487,068 issued Dec. 30, 1969, is a potent antibacterial agent. Clindamycin is a derivative of the amino acid trans-L-4-n-propylhygrinic acid, attached to a sulfur-containing derivative of an octose.

Clindamycin and lincomycin bind exclusively to the 50 S subunit of bacterial ribosomes and suppress protein synthesis. Although clindamycin, erythromycin and chloramphenicol are not structurally related, they all act at this site, and the binding of one of these antibiotics to the ribosome may inhibit the reaction of the other. In general, clindamycin is similar to erythromycin in its activity in vitro against pneumococci, Strep. pyogenes, and viridans streptococci. Almost all such bacterial strains are inhibited by concentrations of 0.04 μg/mL. It is also active against many strains of Staph. aureus but may not inhibit methicillin-resistant strains. Clindamycin is nearly completely absorbed following oral administration, and peak plasma concentrations of 2 to 3 μg/mL are attained within 1 hour after the ingestion of 50 mg. The presence of food in the stomach does not reduce absorption significantly. The half-life of the antibiotic is about 2.5 hours, and modest accumulation of drug is to be expected if it is given at 6 hour intervals. The phosphate ester of clindamycin which is given parenterally, is also rapidly hydrolyzed in vivo to the active parent compound. Following intramuscular injection, peak concentrations in plasma are not attained for 3 hours in adults and 1 hour in children. The recommended parenteral dosages provide peak plasma concentrations of 5 to 15 μg/mL and effective antimicrobial activity for approximately 8 hours. Most of the drug is inactivated by metabolism to N-demethylclindamycin and clindamycin sulfoxide, which are excreted in the urine and bile. The half-life of clindamycin is lengthened only slightly in patients with markedly impaired renal function, and little adjustment of dosage is required for such individuals.

In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, clindamycin hydrochloride is prepared by first preparing the novel clindamycin phosphoryl benzylate. Preparation of clindamycin hydrochloride by means of this intermediate, which can be easily isolated and purified, eliminates the need for use of column chromatography. For example, see U.S. Pat. No. 3,487,068 issued Dec. 30, 1969, particularly Examples 1 and 2 wherein lincomycin-2-phosphate and 7(S)-chloro-7-deoxylincomycin-2-phosphate are purified by column chromatography. In a specific embodiment of the invention, this monophosphate benzyl ester is prepared by treating protected clindamycin hydrochloride with phosphorus oxychloride in the presence of a suitable solvent to obtain a reaction mixture, adding benzyl alcohol to the reaction mixture and subsequently adding water to complete the reaction. In this reaction, the benzyl alcohol is not only a reactant but also a powerful solvent in which the desirable intermediate is freely soluble. Moreover, any by-products are easily removed by washing with an aqueous solution.
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