Maybe it is time to forget time-consuming and tedious protocols for amide formation. This boric acid-catalyzed amidation method seems promising.

The formation of amides is one of the most common synthetic steps for an organic chemist. It its the core reaction of peptide synthesis, so important that many methods have been developed along the years to carry out this transformation. An eco-friendly, easy amidation using boric acid as the catalyst was developed by Tang et al. in 2005, but it found a surprisingly low echo among the industrial community. A group of researchers working on Dr. Reddy’s has published now a paper showing the application of this boric acid amidation for the preparation of several API-related amides with excellent yield and purity. This method seems promising and more efficient than the use of acid chlorides or coupling agents.

Org. Process Res. Dev., 2007, 11 (6), pp 1065–1068. See: 10.1021/op700098w