Typical targets are heterocyclic compounds, steroids or steroid intermediates, sugars and terpenoid-like compounds. Synthetic routes are often multi-step and can involve multiple complex organic transformations. Rapid demonstration of preservation of chirality by analytical methods is always a necessity. It is often also necessary to make estimates of the feasibility of various routes to a desired end product whereby a decision between, for example, chiral pool intermediates, chemo- or biocatalysis or resolution has to be made.
The best course in a complex synthesis frequently involves a combination of techniques including chiral pool synthesis.