ExploRNA is led by Professor Jacek Jemielity Head of the Bio Organic Chemistry Laboratory at the Center of New Technologies CeNT at the University of Warsaw and has been established by the Team of top-level scientists with chemical biology and immunology experience. The founders of ExploRNA Therapeutics have unique experience in working with mRNA and are inventors of ground-breaking solutions, which have already found commercial application.
Our mission is to deliver mRNA technology innovations to revolutionize future therapies and prevention of many diseases. We invent, develop, manufacture and apply our solutions for the benefit of pharmaceutical partners, and to improve people’s lives.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
The main area of Jacek Jemielity’s scientific interest are nucleotides, nucleic acids, and their chemically modified analogs – their synthesis, characterization, and applications in cellular research, biotechnology, diagnostics, and therapy. For the past 18 years Jacek Jemielity has been involved, among others, in the development of mRNA 5’ cap modifications for improvement of mRNA-based gene therapies. He has published more than 120 scientific papers in prestigious journal such as Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, Angewandte Chemie Int. Ed., The Journal of American Chemical Society, Chemical Science and many others. His papers were cited over 2000 times and his Hirsch index is 26. Has also co-invented several technologies for mRNA modification patented all over the world.
Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
The originator and main founder of Explorna Therapeutics. In the company, she is a Member of the Management Board and CTO.
Joanna Kowalska conducts interdisciplinary research on nucleotides and nucleic acids aimed at understanding their biological functions and finding new therapeutic solutions. She specializes in designing molecular probes to study processes related to the metabolism of nucleotides and mRNA. She co-authored more than 70 scientific publications, a significant number of which were published in peer-reviewed international journals such as Nucleic Acids Reseach, The Journal of American Chemical Society, Organic letters, or Chemical Communications, as well as patent applications. Her work has been cited more than 1200 times to date and her Hirsch index is 21. She is the recipient of many national and international awards, including the national L’Oreal Award for Women in Science, nomination to the final of the “Zostańcie z nami” competition organized by Polityka weekly, and nomination to the final of the European Inventor Award 2018 (together with Prof. Jacek Jemielty and Prof. Edward Darżynkiewicz).
Chief Scientific Officer (CSO)
Founder of Explorna Therapeutics, responsible for the development of scientific projects, professor at the Medical University of Warsaw – head of the Department of Immunology, long-term lecturer, scientist and businessman. Prof. Gołąb was a co-founder of OncoArendi, a company listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, where he was a CSO and a manager responsible for the area of biology for several years since its inception.
Research interests of Prof. Jakub Gołąb focus on experimental oncology and immunology. The major aims of these studies were associated with identification of novel molecular mechanisms of action of therapeutic approaches used in the clinical setting. These studies allowed for either improved understanding of the underlying biological effects of these therapies or led to identification of unknown interactions or even side effects of clinically approved therapeutics. Most recent research activity was associated with drug discovery and development in OncoArendi Therapeutics, a drug discovery company that was co-established by prof. Gołąb in 2012. Prof. Gołąb is a coauthor of more than 150 research articles that were cited more than 10 000 times with an H index of 39 (ISI Web of Science). He published in the most prestigious journals (Nature Communications, 5×Blood, 3×Leukemia, PLoS Medicine, CA A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, EMBO J, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 4×Cancer Research, 3×Clinical Cancer Research, Cancer Immunology Research, 3xOncogene, American Journal of Pathology, 4×Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Cell Death And Differentiation, 3×Autophagy, 2×Journal of Biological Chemistry), often as a corresponding author.
Board Member, CFO
Over 24 years of experience in capital markets (brokerage and mutual funds), corporate finance, banking & insurance industry. Working for ABN Amro Corporate Finance, Citibank Poland, UniCredit / Bank Pekao S.A., Raiffeisen Group (in Poland and Austria), AXA and Uniqa Groups on TOP management positions. Chairman and member of Supervisory Boards in numerous financial institutions including Pekao Pioneer Investment Management SA, CDM Pekao SA, Pekao Financial Services and the biotechnology company OncoArendi. Security broker with license No. 1857.
Tomasz Piec is a non-executive member of the Management Board, Strategist and Chief Adviser.
Since 1993, he has been employed at Elektor Sp. z o.o. in Cracow. Since 1994, Regional Manager of REMY COINTREAU GROUP Polska. In 1995 he started working for the COLGATE PALMOLIVE Polska concern, from 2001 he was the Sales Manager at COLGATE PALMOLIVE Adria a.s. in the Balkans. Since 2003, he has been employed in Tchibo Polska as the Sales Director in the CEE region. In 2004 he joined the SIGMA-KALON DECO Polska Sp. z o.o. as Commercial Director, member of the management board of a Polish company. In 2007, he became a member of the management board of SIGMAKALON Deco Eastern a.s. later part of PPG Europe in Prague, where he was responsible for the work of the commercial teams of the concern in Central, Eastern Europe and Africa (EMEA). From May 2008, he was associated with the Synthos S.A. Capital Group. as a Commercial Director and then a board member responsible for managing the company’s commercial processes around the world, from July 2016 in the rank of Vice President of the Board he was responsible for five business units, marketing and M&A projects. From June 2020, at FTF Columbus as the Managing Partner responsible for Science and Technology SciTech sub-invest fund of Black Forest Sicav Sif in Luxemburg.
Director of Biology
Founder of Explorna Therapeutics.
Prof. Nowis is an author or co-author of over 80 publications published in internationally recognized scientific journals such as Nature Comm (x3), PLoS Medicine (x2), Am J Pathol, Blood, Haematologica, Oncogene (x2), Cancer Res, CA: Cancer Journal for Clinicians, Clin Cancer Res (x2). Her publications have been cited over 4,500 times; her H-index equals 27. Her major scientific achievements include discovery of the cardiotoxic effects of proteasome inhibitors as well as statin-dependent decrease in glucose uptake by cancer cells and cells involved in carbohydrates homeostasis. For the past few years, she has been working on the development of research techniques to study antitumor immune responses. For her scientific achievements Prof. Nowis has been awarded with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland habilitation award, Ministry of Science and Higher Education 3-year fellowship for outstanding young researchers, L’Oreal Poland for Women and Science Ph.D. fellowship, Foundation for Polish Science START fellowship, and POLITYKA weekly journal scientific award among many others. In 2012 Prof. Nowis was awarded with 3rd place in the first „Super-talents in medicine” contest. She was a member of the first Young Researcher Council in the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. Prof. Nowis finds passion in teaching. For over 15 years she teaches the complete course of immunology to the medical students. She has been recognized the best academic teacher of the 1st Faculty of Medicine, MUW in 2018 and 2019. Prof. Nowis is also a co-author of four editions of “Immunology” academic textbook (in Polish).
Director of Clinical Operations
Over 15 years of experience in investigational product clinical trials and medical device studies conducted for pharmaceutical, biotechnology and technology companies. Experience in phase I – IV in variety of therapeutic areas i.e. oncology, hematology, cardiology, neurology and infectious diseases. Responsibility spanning over the whole clinical trial process from development of trial documentation, through submissions to Competent Authorities and Ethics Committees, monitoring of study conduct, site monitoring and audit, up to Clinical Study Report finalization. Project and team management in clinical trials conducted in Poland, EU and USA.
Director of Business Development
Piotr Stępniak is responsible for commercialization of ExploRNA’s technology, therapeutics platform and therapies.
Piotr combines 13 years of experience in innovative Life Science projects with 10 years of experience in B2B customerrelations. In his previous roles he created, developed, and sold services based on bioinformatics and data science for the US and EU markets. Later on, as a leader of more than a dozen scientists and engineers he worked on creating an artificialintelligence-powered technology to design novel immunotherapies.
Piotr built effective collaborations with big pharma, biotech companies, start-ups and academic institutions. He has a wideexperience in representative role at scientific conferences, industrial events and pharma partnering meetings. Piotr alsowon and led projects co-financed with EU funds. He is a co-author of 15 scientific publications and a SARS-CoV2 vaccine blueprints for targeting cellular response activation.
Head of the chemistry team
Marek Baranowski is the author or co-author of 7 scientific publications published in internationally recognized scientific journals such as Nucleic Acid Research (x2), Journal of Organic Chemistry (x2), Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, Plant Physiology and Biochemistry. He has been training in the synthesis of nucleotides and oligonucleotides for almost a decade, and he is also evolving his scientific skills in the direction of developing experimental methods to study the biophysical properties of the small molecules. He considers as his major scientific achievement the synthesis and application of oligonucleotides labelled with fluorophosphate moieties as molecular probes to study the secondary structure, interactions and dynamics of nucleic acids by 19F NMR (the work was published in Nucleic Acid Resaerch and achieved breakthrough article status). From the very beginning of his scientific path he has been awarded multiple times. Marek Baranowski was a finalist of III edition of “Gold Medal of Chemistry” competition for the best undergraduate thesis with individual distinction by DuPont company. His Master’s thesis was awarded with the Joanna and Jerzy Glezer Prize (Department of Physics, University of Warsaw). During his studies he received twice the scholarship of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education for outstanding scientific achievements and in 2010-2014 the Rector’s scholarship for best students. His PhD project was made possible by the funding of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education “Diamond grant”.