Novomer to Probe Functional Beta-Lactones to Enhance Virus Deactivation

ROCHESTER, N.Y., June 17, 2020 — Novomer, Inc., the leading developer of beta-propiolactones and derivatives, is targeting novel functionalized beta-propiolactones for possible use in vaccine applications against coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2 (the coronavirus causing the COVID-19 disease).


The research initiative is grounded in the longstanding protocol of using beta-propiolactone to inactivate viruses. New functional beta-lactone architectures may have improved performance relative to beta-propiolactone owing to differences in lipophilicity and reactivity with functional groups commonly found in viruses.


“Novel functionalized beta-propiolactones may unlock the key to selectively targeting the virus RNA for successful inactivation. By utilizing Novomer’s catalyst and process technology, these novel materials can be produced in high volumes and high quality required for this important application,” says Geoff Coates, Novomer Co-Founder. “Our belief is that combining our enhanced catalytic technology with vaccination strategies already relying on beta-propiolactones could enable a new class of highly effective and safe vaccines.”


Vaccines are just one example of enhanced utility enabled by functionalized lactones. The beta-lactone class of monomers has been overlooked as a useful class of materials that has important benefits across multiple industries.