Thermo Fisher collaborates with the University of Sheffield

The pair will work to advance complex oligonucleotide characterisation and analytical workflows

Thermo Fisher Scientific and the University of Sheffield are collaborating to develop end-to-end workflows for the characterisation and monitoring of complex oligonucleotide and mRNA products. This collaboration brings together the University’s research expertise and Thermo Fisher’s sample preparation, liquid chromatography (LC), high resolution accurate mass (HRAM) mass spectrometry (MS) and data interpretation software technologies to enable the development of streamlined analytical workflows.

Thermo Fisher brings its magnetic bead technology to the collaboration, providing access to sample preparation protocols that are designed to be simple to create and modify for reliability and sample-to-sample consistency. These techniques will be combined with the company’s Orbitrap Exploris 240 Mass Spectrometers, which it claims deliver quantitative precision and accuracy regardless of sample complexity, the depth of insight required or the presence of unknown compounds.

To complete the workflow, the company says its Dionex DNAPac RP Oligonucleotide Columns enables high-resolution analysis of synthetic and modified oligonucleotides, while its BioPharma Finder integrated software facilitates interpretation and data visualisation for more confident characterisation.

“Recently we have witnessed a pressing need for more robust and accurate methods for the characterisation and monitoring of oligonucleotide and mRNA products, to ensure generation of a rich level of information that can drive timely production of an ever-growing pipeline of novel vaccines and drug products,” explained Eric Grumbach, Director of Pharma, biopharma vertical marketing, Thermo Fisher Scientific.

“Our collaboration with the University of Sheffield will enable us to effectively meet this need through powerful analytical workflows and best practices. We will also optimise current approaches by streamlining sample preparation techniques for mRNA sequencing using nuclease digestion, ion-pairing chromatography and novel separation methods without ion-pairing.”

“Having the right tools is essential for the reliable analysis and characterisation of oligonucleotide and mRNA products,” said Professor Mark Dickman, deputy faculty director of research and innovation, Engineering, University of Sheffield. “Our decades-long research experience and expertise combined with Thermo Fisher’s support and access to industry-leading technology gives us the means to further expand our testing capabilities in this rapidly evolving space, ultimately facilitating the discovery and development of cutting-edge therapeutics.”

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