Stereorandom and diastereoselective syntheses of a novel 1,2,3,4,4a,5,6,10b-octahydro-1,10-phenanthroline ring system are described. Derivatives of all four diastereomers were prepared and isolated in >98% ee. The pure enantiomers were compared in order to determine the preferred absolute and relative configuration required for optimal anti-HIV activity. Anti-HIV potency and pharmacokinetic properties of the newly synthesized tricyclic octahydrophenanthroline inhibitors are presented and comparisons are made to previously reported bicyclic (8S)-N-methyl-5,6,7,8-tetrahydro-8-quinolinamine analogs.
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