Exactmer joins forces with leading institutions to secure Innovative Technologies Award

Exactmer is excited to announce the successful application to the Innovative Technologies for Nucleic Acid Medicines Manufacturing competition, delivered by the Innovate UK Transforming Medicine Manufacturing programme. Exactmer will work in collaboration with CPI, Queen Mary University of London and AstraZeneca, forming a consortium of leading experts in membrane production, nanofiltration, oligo manufacture and commercialisation. 

The consortium will receive £1.8 million funding for a 24-month long project aimed at Maximising Efficiency of Liquid Phase Oligo Synthesis (MELOS). The project will focus on improving the process efficiency and sustainability of Exactmer’s Nanostar Sieving technology for liquid-phase synthesis of oligonucleotides at large scale. 

Oligonucleotides, or oligos, are short chains of nucleotides that are used in a variety of applications, including gene therapy, diagnostics, and drug delivery. The current methods for manufacturing oligos are often inefficient and environmentally unfriendly. Nanostar Sieving technology is a new approach to oligo synthesis that uses a membrane to separate the growing oligo from unreacted monomers, allowing for more efficient and sustainable production of oligos. 

The MELOS project will focus on improving the following aspects of the Nanostar Sieving technology: 

  • Process efficiency: The team will develop new chemistries and process conditions to improve the yield and throughput of the Nanostar Sieving process. 
  • Sustainability: The team will develop methods to reduce the use of solvents and other chemicals in the Nanostar Sieving process. 
  • Scalability: The team will develop methods to scale up the Nanostar Sieving process for commercial production of oligos. 

“We are excited to be working on this project with such a talented team of partners,” said Piers Gaffney, CSO of Exactmer. “The MELOS project has the potential to revolutionize the way oligos are manufactured, making them more affordable and accessible to patients.” 

This is a significant step forward in the development of the Nanostar Sieving technology. The MELOS project is expected to lead to improved process efficiency, sustainability, and scalability of the technology, and in the future it could benefit millions of patients worldwide.

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Exactmer Awarded £2M for Alternative Oligo Chemistries

Exactmer is delighted to announce it has been awarded €2.49M (£2.15M) from the European Innovation Council (EIC) through its Transition programme, to fund ground-breaking research in the synthesis and manufacture of oligonucleotide (oligo) therapeutics. The funding will fast-track the development of new oligo chemistries for Exactmer’s patented Nanostar Sieving technology, which enables the large-scale manufacture of exact polymeric pharmaceuticals.

‘Alternative Chemistry for Oligonucleotide Synthesis using Nanostar Sieving’, ALTOLIGO, will develop innovative synthesis routes to revolutionise the production of oligos, using greener and cheaper methodologies, and alleviating burdensome supply-chains. In contrast to current methodologies, which rely on the classical phosphoramidite approach using solid-phase platforms, Nanostar Sieving employs the liquid phase for synthesis, making the process inherently scalable. Moving away from dependence on solid supports allows for novel, non-classical syntheses to be developed and optimised, pushing the boundaries for efficiency in oligo production.

Exactmer’s CEO, Prof. Andrew Livingston said: “Exactmer is a technology innovator in oligo manufacture. Our Nanostar Sieving platform harnesses over a decade of research at the forefront of membrane technologies, from the Livingston Group at Queen Mary University of London, and provides a step-change in exact polymer manufacturing. This makes it the ideal platform to address the needs of the oligo synthesis market. This EIC Transition funding will enable us to deliver cheaper and more-efficient oligo manufacturing methods, ultimately bringing these innovative therapeutics to all patients in need.”

The EIC Transition programme offers start-ups and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) grants of up to €2.5 million to fund activities that go beyond the experimental proof of principle, addressing both technology and market development. The programme is being financed through the UKRI Horizon Europe Guarantee funding in the UK.

Exactmer began as a spin-out company from Imperial College in December 2017, and is now a fast-growing SME based in Londoneast-UK Technical Park in Dagenham, East London. Contact us at [email protected] if you are interested in partnering on our oligo synthesis work developing through ALTOLIGO, or to find out more about our work in this area.