Stereochemistry of phenylpiracetam and its methyl derivative: Improvement of the pharmacological profile

Grigory Veinberg, Edijs Vavers, Natalja Orlova, Jevgenijs Kuznecovs, Ilona Domracheva, Maxim Vorona, Liga Zvejniece, Maija Dambrova

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Since the discovery of piracetam its structural analogs based on the pyrrolidin-2-one pharmacophore have aroused great interest as a source of effective pharmacological central nervous system agents capable to facilitate memory processes and to attenuate the impairment of cognitive functions associated with head traumas, stroke, age, and age-related pathologies. The present review summarizes the data published during the last decade concerning the design, synthesis, and biological activity exploration of enantiomerically pure (4R)-2-oxo-4-phenylpyrrolidine-1-carboxamide ((R)-phenylpiracetam) and (4R,5S)-5-methyl-2-oxo-4-phenylpyrrolidine-1-carboxamide (E1R) and providing evidence for the direct relationship between the configuration of the stereocenters and biological properties of the respective enantiomers. The methodological approaches leading to the preparation of the single stereoisomers of molecules with one or two chiral centers are reviewed. The results of comparative pharmacological testing of individual enantiomers provides the evidence of their pharmacological advantages, justifying the choice of the most effective stereoisomer and the necessity for drug substance purification from the less active one(s).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)601-606
Number of pages6
JournalChemistry of Heterocyclic Compounds
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • (4R)-2-oxo-4-phenylpyrrolidine-1-carboxamide
  • (4R,5S)-5-methyl-2-oxo-4-phenylpyrrolidine-1-carboxamide
  • (R)-phenylpiracetam
  • E1R
  • Nootropic activity
  • Stereochemical resolution
  • Stereoselective pharmacological activity

Field of Science*

  • 1.4 Chemical sciences
  • 3.1 Basic medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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