TSU chemists will begin production of a virus inactivator for vaccine

Tomsk State University and the Engineering Chemical Technology Center have won a grant for the creation and production of beta-propiolactone, a virus inactivator used in the production of vaccines. After the completion of the project and the release of experimental batches, full-scale production of the virus inactivator will begin. The developments of Tomsk chemists are aimed at completely closing the need for beta-propiolactone in the territory of the Russian Federation, ensuring the technological safety of the country and strengthening the health of the nation.

TSU and the main partner LLC "Engineering Chemical Technology Center" will carry out work on the creation and production of domestic beta-propiolactone by the end of 2023. This substance is used in the production of vaccines against hepatitis A, rabies, influenza, coronavirus and other dangerous infections. The ECTC is already working on the reproduction of laboratory technology for the synthesis of beta-propipiolactone. The works are paid for by a grant in the amount of 92 million rubles.

Tomsk State University will develop design and technological documentation, and the Engineering Chemical Technology Center will create a pilot plant at its production site, where, according to the developed documentation for small-scale industrial production with a volume of 10 kg, it will produce experimental batches of the substance. After the finishing of the project, TSU, together with ECTC, plans to start using full-scale technology for the production of a domestic virus inactivator and completely close its need in Russia within a few years.

"Our project is aimed at the production of components that are used in such a vital area as the production of vaccines against various diseases. Beta-propiolactone destroys the virus without affecting the virus envelope. As a result, a vaccine with an inactivated virus, entering the human body, causes the appearance of antibodies without infecting the body. Now in Russia, the volume of consumption of beta-propiolactone is about 3 tons per year. One ton costs about 100 million rubles, but even at this price, the substance is currently not supplied to Russia due to sanctions restrictions," says Ivan Ivonin, Deputy Vice-Rector of TSU for Innovation and Scientific Activities.

The TSU and ECTC project is supported by a grant from the Agency for Technological Development, which is provided with subsidies from the federal budget for these purposes in accordance with the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 208. The state finances the development of design and technological documentation for components necessary for industries, and works on the production of such components are carried out in order to ensure the technological independence of the country.

The developments of TSU chemists correspond to the objectives of the strategic project "Safety Technologies". The project is being implemented with the support of the federal program "Priority 2030" to create new technologies and materials to ensure the safety of Russians, including developments in the field of biosafety, as well as technologies and products necessary to strengthen the health of the nation.

The Engineering Chemical Technology Center was established in 2014 on the basis of Tomsk State University to carry out projects on the introduction of industrial technologies – from the support of research work to the support of the organization of chemical production "turnkey". The Center maintains close ties with the Faculty of Chemistry of TSU, it is one of its main strategic scientific partners. ECTC is one of the leading engineering centers in Russia: here is experimental science, business and industry successfully interact in the field of the latest chemical developments. The competence of the center also includes the development of technological documentation, initial data for production, scaling and piloting of chemical technologies, production of experimental batches of the product, marketing research and development of enterprise development strategies.