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Call to action, DIY Daraprim for the HIV+, Chem kids get busy

Some of you may have seen this story:

The price of an AIDS medication was just increased from $13.50/pill to $750/pill overnight, despite no increase in costs. It is also an anti-parasitic and anti-malarial drug. Apparently it also treats toxoplasmosis which is resposible for turning people into cat hoarders. Nobody likes the lady with 100 cats! This must be stopped. To be fair and balanced, the CEO has some reasons for doing this and claims it will be given for free to people who need it:

I'm kind of the opinion that if my life depended on something like this then $13.50/pill would even be outrageous. More importantly, I should have the right to save my own ass and not have to depend on pharma, insurance, etc. The pill is being made in India for $010/ea.
I want to make a DIY recipe video for this drug. I want to use common ingredients whenever possible, improvised kitchen equipment, etc. I also want to explore all possible hazards and safety precautions to minimize fuck ups. Here is the Wikipedia page that includes some synthesis stuff:

INB4 dontdoityouwillgotojailgetsuedkillsomeoneimpedeprogressandinnovation, etc

Lets do this!


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  1. Is this the future we want for our children?
  2. STEP 1: make cyanide shit

  3. Yeah... Unless someone knows a convenient starting point, we'd be starting from scratch, and the number of compounds with "cyano" or "cyanide" somewhere in them are alarming. And a few of the other compounds are used for making explosives. Getting the stuff to make this would probably bring the Alphabet Agencies to your front door in seconds.

    That said, I'll see what I can find.
    @chironex might have some input.
  4. So might @glims
  5. I like this idea and it's about chem.

    First. Most of these processes will create bad things that will hurt you. Exhibit caution by not doing stuff until you actually know how...

    Srrsly, most of these steps are super dangerous.

    The ethyl proprionate can be extracted from strawberries using a soxhlet extractor. They're fairly inexpensive and easy to use.  It's an ethyl alc (obviously) so using ethanol would be a great solvent for the extraction. I suggest using pure tho, high proof would need serious filtration and still cause issues.

    NaOMe is really easy to make, just as Sodium metal to Methanol. Be advised this is super dangerous and the resulting solution will hurt hurt hurt.

    This cyanoketone is really stripped down. One of your biggest issues will be purification at this step. I honestly can't suggest anything other than a column.

    TMOF  another methanol step. This one requires cyanide. I'm going to just take a shot at this one. Turn to your trusty soxhlet extractor and a bottle of booze (ethanol or methanol actually) once more and go buy some apricots. Eat the apricots. Save the seeds. Crack shells and extract. cook off -ohol and harvest your crystalline amygdalin. (using vacuum extraction for this stepo is actually way more legit. cooking your mix may cause exposure, terrible fumes, or the wrong compound to emerge from temperature shifts) Add water to hydrolyze and get rid of those pesky sugars. purify and move on.

    Guanidine is just degraded guanine. It's found in urine. You need to isolate it and then remove a cation using a base. This is all I know about this.

    All your missing now is compound one. The cholorpheynlacetonitrile is easy ish to make. You will still need your base block though. It's better to just buy this.

    In all of these things, purification is your most difficult and resource intensive step.

  6. Can we use creatine to get our Guanidine? Or is urine still easier?
  7. In terms of access, everyone has urine, not everyone can buy creatine.

    Beyond that, it's really a matter of resources. Cleaving off that carboxyl group may be as easy as it looks. However, that carbon poking up from the central Nitrogen may give some issues.  Looks like a multi step process unless I am forgetting something.

    edit: my point is that its really an access to resources thing. you either need the tools to purify, or the tools to do multi step chemistry. Both are highly restrictive.
  8. gotcha
  9. Ya I've spent years building up a home lab and i've got a fair few bits. And I still don't feel comfy doing that synthesis. Like the synth is easy, but as glims said purification would be a nightmare. HPLC would be great but one of those would run you 4-500 bucks. Which if the pill is 750 a pill, then ya investing in the stuff to make this yourself would be worth it if you have to take the pill more than once. LIke if someone had to take this, and was prepared to spend the money on the pills, They could well spend it on the gear, find someone who knows what's up and make the stuff. The starting materials are cheap, even that weird starting piece. 50 bucks for 100g. That'd make loads of pills. If you had both the time and material already to run the rest of the system.
  10. instead of apricot seeds could we use superglue to get our cyanide? Would it be less work?
  11. The most direct way to obtain cyanide from superglue would be thermal decomposition. But it's very inefficient. Accoding to this Link, 1 gram of cyanocrylate heated to 200-280 centigrade produces 10 micrograms of hydrogen cyanide. Apricots are cheaper, And could hypothetically be produced in your back yard. 

    In regards to the "dangerous steps", what kind of danger are we talking about here? Explosions, Cyanide gasses, or Extremely powerful caustic agents? Or the ever dreadful combination, cyanide generating caustic agents exploding all over the place?
  12. LOL. All of those. Yes, this shit is worse than AIDS. Holy shit, that link you posted....I guess this is the same stuff as Zyklon B. Damn that's serious stuff.
  13. I'm having a hard time telling how serious this conversation is right now with all the death bits in it....and warnings....that aside I'm very curious if it's that "simple" to produce what's keeping people from producing a "generic" brand? I do understand the whole FDA thing but getting through the red tape what is the problem?
  14. That's the best part about chemistry, once your method is known anyone can produce it.
    Provided they can source the chemicals and have thousands worth of lab gear.
    That's the thing I enjoyed most about chem, if you can follow a recipe and lab safety instructions, you need zero knowledge about the specifics. Obviously it helps to know you have a cyanide gas byproduct, but if the lab notes say ventilate and wear a filter/fume hood it, it doesn't really matter.
  15. That's the weird thing... Somehow it seems that something is preventing other companies and pharmacies from doing that. Utterly bizarre. Reminds me of the whole thing with neuropozyne in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. 

    I think one of the reasons is because the conditions treated by it are... Uncommon to say the least. I'm not surprised that not many other pharma companies manufacture it, but it still smells fishy. Enough about fish, though. 

    About using cyanoacrylate. The fact that it's hydrogen cyanide gas that's produced means that we have to sublimate the gas and then turn it into something else. The peach pit method is so much easier.
  16. Update: Apparently the company CEO said he would roll back the price, but hasn't said how much. I think we still ought to give this some though anyway, though.

    I found a paper on isolating guanidine from urea for any interested. Link here:

    It's a PDF download, so it's a bit buggy when i try to hyperlink.

    @glims Do you have any idea how  many strawberries you'd need to get a reasonable amount of ethyl propionate?  Having a hard time finding any literature that says exactly how much a typical strawberry yields.
  17. Uh, that's the wrong link, but I am very interested. I can't think of a more dystopian hellscape than that video I posted above. Someone must save the world from the kitty hell we are hurtling toward. I'm interested to see what this CEO will set the price at too. Honestly though, $13.50 x 2/day x 30 days = $810/month. That sucks as it is.
  18. Is it not opening for you?
  19. the amounts in strawberries are basically trace. it was the only non buy it from a company option i could come up with.

    to be fair, most levels needed for synthesis are smaller than what you can get from extraction in these cases. except the urine. cause we make so much of it. the apricot extraction starts at about 5% but then after processing and purification you are probably looking at more like 2% from mass...
    Some of you may remember the discussions when we were doing the NIR project and talking about getting A2 from fish livers since it was so expensive. The ratio turned out to be 50lbs of fish liver for 50ug of A2. Not really a thing you want to do.

    I suggest if someone wants to try this to get all the chemicals direct, do a small batch, and if they can manage that, THEN you can start talking about extraction and purification, which basically add 15 steps to the process.

    Things may looks simple on the screen but these things take time effort and resources. Usually more time and money than if you just bought things direct. Unless you are becoming a full time chemist, it isn't going to be easy or cheap.
  20. The company is rolling back the price.
  21. skip to about 1:50 LINK

    He's gonna make a video on how to do this.
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