Momenta was founded in 2001 based on technology discovered and developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for the precise sequencing of complex sugar molecules. Early efforts to explore the biological role of sugars were constrained by the absence of tools to fully analyze complex sugars. The initial methods to characterize sugar molecules were discovered by two of our founders, Ram Sasisekharan, Ph.D., Professor of Biological Engineering, MIT, and Ganesh V. Kaundinya, Ph.D., now Momenta's Chief Scientific Officer. Early work by Dr. Sasisekharan, a molecular biologist, in collaboration with Dr. Robert Langer, a world-renowned professor at MIT, overcame many technical obstacles to clone the first heparinase, an enzyme that cuts sugar sequences into smaller components. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Kaundinya and Dr. Sasisekharan began collaborating to create a collection of enzymes and chemicals to cut sugar sequences at precise locations and then to address quantitative approaches for capturing the diversity of complex sugars. They developed improvements to conventional analytical methodologies and created a novel numerical system to describe the myriad permutations of building blocks contained in complex sugars. This early work laid the scientific foundation for our innovative characterization technology. Some of their key publications are available online.
Last Updated 1/4/2016