Drugs based on oligonucleotides (RNA and DNA molecules) offer promise as revolutionary therapies for hitherto untreatable diseases. To understand their function and activity and guarantee quality and safety, full characterization of these drugs is mandatory. Since these therapeutics are chemically complex and inherently unstable, this requires novel analytical strategies.
In this project, analytical scientist Govert Somsen and Anouk Rijs from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam together with Bob Pirok and Andrea Gargano of the University of Amsterdam's Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences will collaborate to develop the needed analytical strategies for oligonucleotide (ON) therapeutics. They aim to combine cutting-edge multidimensional separations with advanced mass spectrometric techniques and smart optimization and data algorithms.
The project will involve 3 PhD students that will be positioned at the Centre for Analytical Science Amsterdam (CASA). This collaboration strengthens international research and education in analytical sciences in Amsterdam and supports its wide and appropriate use and dissemination throughout the country. The industrial consortium partners AstraZeneca, Novartis, and GSK bring highly relevant knowledge on the synthesis, development and production of oligonucleotides to the InnovATOR project. Finally, the companies MS Vision and Tosoh, which are instrument and utility companies in advanced mass spectrometry and chromatography, will aid the design and implementation of the analytical concepts developed in InnovATOR.