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Potential of mRNA-Based Gene Therapies

Jake Becraft, PhD, chief executive officer and cofounder, Strand Therapeutics, discussed the company’s future research and plans.

“Strand has always been special, we've always been a little bit different than everyone else. The way that we design messenger RNA is special because we really prize the design of the sequence of the messenger RNAs, and how we build synthetic biology tools on top of messenger RNAs.”

Strand Therapeutics is targeting a number of oncologic indications with an initial focus on solid tumors with their mRNA-based therapeutics and programable mRNA designed to complement cell therapies such as chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies. First-in-human clinical trials are planned to start in 2022.

In August 2021, the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health awarded Strand two Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research grants to help develop mRNA-based therapeutics for melanoma and triple negative breast cancer.

GeneTherapyLive spoke with Strand’s chief executive officer and cofounder, Jake Becraft, PhD, to learn more about the advantages of mRNA-based therapies and what differentiates Strand from other gene editing companies in the space. He also discussed the partnership with BeiGene that Strand entered into in January 2021 that allows the company access to markets in China and Australia.

REFERENCE
Strand Therapeutics awarded two phase I NIH SBIR grants to advance programmable, long-lasting mRNA therapeutics for melanoma and breast cancer. News release. Strand Therapeutics. August 4, 2021. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210804005169/en/Strand-Therapeutics-Awarded-Two-Phase-I-NIH-SBIR-Grants-to-Advance-Programmable-Long-Lasting-mRNA-Therapeutics-for-Melanoma-and-Breast-Cancer