Transforming Oligonucleotide Manufactuing

In the latest issue of Chemistry Today, Andrew Livingston and Katie Murray discuss the challenges involved with oligonucleotide manufacturing, and the role Nanostar Sieving can play in overcoming them.

Oligonucleotides, which have already shown success in the treatment of rare diseases, are now being used to treat conditions with much larger patient populations. However, limitations associated with the current state-of-the-art solid-phase manufacturing technology – namely high costs and low capacity – inhibit their true potential. Despite this, oligonucleotide-based drugs are still moving through the R&D pipeline, but their progress will be hindered without an overhaul of the current manufacturing process. An exciting academic, government and industry collaboration is investigating the potential of a novel liquid-phase synthesis technique. This technique – referred to as Nanostar Sieving – circumvents many of the limitations associated with solid-phase oligonucleotide manufacturing, offering a more cost-effective and environmentally sustainable method of manufacturing oligonucleotides at a larger scale.

Read the full article here:

UK collaboration to revolutionise oligonucleotide medicines manufacturing

Exactmer is thrilled to announce a collaboration with AstraZeneca, Novartis, CPI and UK Research and Innovation aimed to revolutionise oligonucleotide medicines manufacturing.

Oligonucleotide drugs work by interfering with how genes are expressed and are now being explored to treat diseases affecting large patient populations, however their use is currently limited by inefficient manufacturing processes. This collaboration, known as Grand Challenge 3, at the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre, aims to develop a cost effective, sustainable and scalable manufacturing method for oligonucleotide medicines. Inclisiran, an oligonucleotide drug from Novartis, would be the first medicine to be manufactured at scale as a result of this collaboration. AstraZeneca has a large pipeline of oligonucleotide therapies which will also benefit from the results of this collaboration.

Exactmer will lead the initial phase of the project focusing on both the development of scale-up strategies for liquid phase processes and on a proof-of-concept programme. The collaboration will utilise Nanostar Sieving technology to enhance the efficiency and yield of oligonucleotide manufacturing processes and reduce the manufacturing costs, enhancing the potential for large-scale manufacturing of oligonucleotide drugs.

Read the full press release on the CPI website.

Proof of Concept Grant

We are excited to announce that Exactmer has been awarded Proof of Concept funding from the European Research Council (ERC), as part of the EU’s research and innovation programme Horizon 2020.

Exactmer will use this research grant, worth €150,000, to fund a 18-month research project to demonstrate that its technology can unlock the tremendous potential of oligonucleotide therapies through dramatically reducing manufacturing costs and increasing production capacity.

This research grant will help us to move our ground-breaking technology towards commercialisation.

The full press release is available here.


We are delighted to announce that Exactmer has been awarded the SMART grant from Innovate UK, which supports disruptive R&D innovations with significant impact on the UK economy.

Exactmer will use this research grant of £330,000 to fund a 15-month research project to further optimise its technology, Nanostar Sieving, and manufacture exact polymers at drastically reduced costs.

This project will support Exactmer’s growth and ambition to become the dominant global producer of exact, high value polymers, based in the UK.

Sequence-defined multifunctional polyethers via liquid-phase synthesis with molecular sieving


Synthetic chemists have devoted tremendous effort towards the production of precision synthetic polymers with defined sequences and specific functions. However, the creation of a general technology that enables precise control over monomer sequence, with efficient isolation of the target polymers, is highly challenging. Here, we report a robust strategy for the production of sequence-defined synthetic polymers through a combination of liquid-phase synthesis and selective molecular sieving. The polymer is assembled in solution with real-time monitoring to ensure couplings proceed to completion, on a three-armed star-shaped macromolecule to maximize efficiency during the molecular sieving process. This approach is applied to the construction of sequence-defined polyethers, with side-arms at precisely defined locations that can undergo site-selective modification after polymerization. Using this versatile strategy, we have introduced structural and functional diversity into sequence-defined polyethers, unlocking their potential for real-life applications in nanotechnology, healthcare and information storage.

Dong, R., Liu, R., Gaffney, P.R.J. et al. Nature Chem 11,136–145 (2019)

New R&D Facilities

Exactmer is excited to announce the opening of its new R&D facilities and office space in the Londoneast-UK Business and Technical Park. The move from Imperial College London to the new premises marks the beginning of an exciting growing phase for the company. The facilities in Londoneast will allow Exactmer to accommodate its fast-growing team, scale up its manufacturing capabilities and establish new and successful partnerships with its clients and industrial collaborators.