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Thermo Fisher Scientific Collaborates with the University of Sheffield to Advance Oligonucleotide Characterization and Analytical Workflows

HEMEL HEMPSTEAD, England – (June 7, 2021) – Thermo Fisher Scientific, the world leader in serving science, and the University of Sheffield, a leading institution with a global reputation for research excellence, have joined forces to develop advanced end-to-end workflows for the characterization and monitoring of complex oligonucleotide and mRNA products. This collaboration brings together the University of Sheffield’s extensive research expertise and Thermo Fisher’s cutting-edge 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 and robust fit-for-purpose processes.

Thermo Fisher brings magnetic bead technology to this collaboration, providing access to sample preparation protocols that are simple to create and modify for optimal reliability and sample-to-sample consistency. These novel sample preparation techniques will be combined with the high-performing Thermo Scientific Orbitrap Exploris 240 Mass Spectrometers, which are designed to deliver quantitative precision and accuracy regardless of sample complexity, the depth of insight required or the presence of unknown compounds. For a complete workflow solution, the Thermo Scientific Dionex DNAPac RP Oligonucleotide Columns will enable high-resolution analysis of synthetic and modified oligonucleotides, while the Thermo Scientific BioPharma Finder Integrated Software will facilitate comprehensive interpretation and data visualization for more confident characterization of oligonucleotide and mRNA products.

“Recently we have witnessed a pressing need for more robust and accurate methods for the characterization 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 optimize 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 characterization 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.”

Thermo Fisher Scientific will showcase its newest products, software solutions and collaborations in a company-hosted virtual event, “Innovation Summit: Shaping the Future of LC-MS in Life Science Together,” from June 8-10, 2021. Register here to learn more.

To find out more about Thermo Fisher’s complete workflow solutions, please visit Orbitrap Exploris 240 Mass Spectrometers, Thermo Scientific Dionex DNAPac RP Oligonucleotide Columns and BioPharma Finder Integrated Software.

About Thermo Fisher Scientific

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. is the world leader in serving science, with annual revenue exceeding $30 billion. Our Mission is to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer. Whether our customers are accelerating life sciences research, solving complex analytical challenges, improving patient diagnostics and therapies or increasing productivity in their laboratories, we are here to support them. Our global team of more than 80,000 colleagues delivers an unrivaled combination of innovative technologies, purchasing convenience and pharmaceutical services through our industry-leading brands, including Thermo Scientific, Applied Biosystems, Invitrogen, Fisher Scientific, Unity Lab Services and Patheon. For more information, please visit

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Last Updated: 08-Jun-2021