Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the etiological agents responsible for botulism, a disease characterized by peripheral neuromuscular blockade and a characteristic flaccid paralysis of humans. The natural product toosendanin is a traditional Chinese medicine which has been reported to have anti-botulinum properties in animal models. To establish what chemical functionalities are necessary for the anti-botulinum properties found within toosendanin, a study was initiated with the goal of using function-oriented synthesis (FOS) as a strategy to begin to unravel toosendanin's powerful anti-botulinum properties. From these studies a new synthetic strategy is put forth allowing access to a 4-acetoxy CD fragment analogue (14) of toosendanin, which was achieved from mesityl oxide and acetylacetone in 14 steps. Animal studies on this fragment are also reported.