The synthesis of (1S,2R)-1-amino-2-indanol, a key component of HIV protease inhibitor is accomplished in four steps starting from indanone efficiently and with high levels of diastereo- and enantioselectivity. The starting material is converted into 2-acetoxy-1-indanone involving Manganese (III) acetate oxidation. The 2-acetoxyketone is hydrolyzed to 2-hydroxy-1-indanone enantioselectively using Rhizopus oryzae. Selective reduction of 2-hydroxyoxime derivative, derived from the 2-hydroxyketone, gives the amino alcohol up to 98% diastereo- and enantioselectivity. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All lights reserved.