I was browsing through the posts at Totally Synthetic, which is now my substitute for looking at total synthesis papers in the primary literature, and came across this question:
"However, this brings me to a point of consideration - why are Stille coupling (reactions) more common in academic publications, and Suzuki more so in an industrial/commercial context?"
(For the non-chemists in the audience, these two reactions are ways to skin what is basically the same cat - forming carbon-carbon bonds on a particular class of starting materials). And this is one of those questions with a one-word answer, and in this case you can pick your word. Either "tin" or "toxic" would work just fine. The Suzuki uses boronic acids or esters, which are generally water-soluble and nonpoisonous. The Stille reaction, although it has a reputation for working on small scale in finicky, highly functionalized molecules, uses organotin compounds. These are highly nasty, and very difficult to completely remove from your final compound. If your final compound is going to be something that people are going to put in their mouths, which is our dearest hope in the drug labs, you're just not going to use tin.
And I don't mean that you'll tend to avoid it, or only use it when other things don't work as well. You just won't touch it. I'm not aware of a single pharmaceutical process which uses an organotin reagent, and I'm not holding my breath for one to appear, either. There are a lot of other reagents in this category: things that you basically have to edit out of your repetoire.
Obvious farewells are made to things like nickel carbonyl, which a lot of people in academia don't want to use, either. But in drug research, a lot of people decide to ditch their old grad-school favorites like HMPA, a solvent that can make some reactions work when little else can. But if your compound can only be made using HMPA, is it going to be a drug? Highly, highly unlikely.
Naturally, one way around this difficulty is to assume that the process chemists are going to fix this little problem later on if your compound goes ahead. But your compound isn't going to go ahead, chief. Something nearly as good as your candidate has surely been made in the course of the project, something that doesn't use HMPA. It'll win. You're honestly better off trying something else in the first place and not wasting your time. And the same, exactly the same, goes for the Stille reaction. Enjoy it in the universities, folks. If you go on to industry, you won't be seeing it again.
Update: Check the comments - there are some well-informed disagreements!