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BIA Separations welcomes a new specialized expert to the team

28Jan2021

We are happy to announce that BIA Separations, now part of Sartorius group, welcomed a new team member: Rok Sekirnik, PhD was appointed as Head of Process Development mRNA/pDNA at the beginning of this year. His new role is leading a team that focuses on providing new solutions to the current challenges in mRNA manufacturing.

BIA Separations has over two decades’ experience in pDNA purification and analytics, which we are also integrating in the ‘mRNA purification toolbox’. The latter is continuously tailored to the recent advances in mRNA technologies, such as new capping strategies. “We are applying the considerable chromatography knowledge base and technologies available at BIA to address three main issues: 1. achieving high purity of mRNA drug substance in a scalable fashion, 2. delivering a consistently high process yield from lab- to production scale, and 3. implementing rapid HPLC analytics to monitor the process from beginning to end. With rapid, we mean rapid – 3-5 min to from sampling to result. We also focus on plasmid DNA, a ‘hidden’ component in the mRNA production process,” explains Sekirnik.

He joined BIA Separations from his latest role as Project Manager at Batavia Biosciences, where he oversaw polio, measles and rubella vaccine development programs in global health division. He previously worked as Principal Scientist at Novartis, where he was lead analyst for pipeline IgG programs and holds a PhD in Chemistry from University of Oxford.

We can contribute to the fight against the pandemic

Sekirnik expressed his enthusiasm to be able to work on a current world health issues: “Current global situation offers our team, and the whole company, numerous opportunities to contribute towards the fight against the pandemics – many of the projects are now Covid-focused,” and added: “Days are varied – from reviewing mRNA purification results with the latest prototype of monolith column, to discussing with our clients the design of their next process, to identifying synergies with our Sartorius colleagues as part of the ongoing integration. I am proud of our dynamic, highly motivated team that bristles with energy.

With this new addition to our team, we welcome you to get in touch with us if you are developing an mRNA process. Whether you require technical guidance on the use of monoliths, support for your development activities, or training, we are committed to serve you with our range of custom solutions.