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The Realities of NMR in the New(ish) Discovery Environment

Reality #1:

LC/MS has become the primary analytical check for the medicinal chemist. I Love NMR, but it's the reality

Reality #2

More often than not, NMR spectra are merely glanced at:

  • Sometimes interpretation is based on the presence or absence of one peak (did my reaction go to completion?)
  • How often are NMR spectra fully assigned by a medicinal/synthetic chemist? Not very often, it's not their job. 
  • Is all the information a 1H NMR spectrum can provide being effectively used? Some chemists are extremely good at NMR, other couldn't be bothered with the intimate details, and I can't say I blame them. It's largely a training/education issue
  • How often are 2-dimensional experiments acquired and interpreted? Of course this varies chemist by chemists, organization..but despite strong advances in hardware, acquisition, etc, I believe the safe answer is, "not enough"

Reality #3:

In many organizations, upwards of 95% of compounds are being registered by synthetic/medicinal chemists without having undergone any analytical review by an analytical specialist (NMR spectroscopist). 

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How and why did we get here? I have some hypotheses, and will write about them in the coming days.