The Knoevenagel condensation of 1,3-dihydro-2H-indol-2-one with ferrocene carboxaldehyde afforded an approximate 2:1 mixture of the geometrical isomers (E)- and (Z)-3-ferrocenylmethylidene-1,3-dihydro-2H-indol-2-one respectively in an overall 67% yield; the air and solution-stable isomers were readily separated by preparative thin layer chromatography and their structures were unequivocally elucidated in solution, by (1)H NMR spectroscopy, and in the solid phase, by X-ray crystallography; both isomers of displayed in vitro toxicity against B16 melanoma and Vero cell lines in the micromolar range and inhibited the kinase VEGFR-2 with IC(50) values of ca. 200 nM.
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