BEDFORD, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Stoke Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company developing therapeutics that increase gene expression to treat a wide array of diseases caused by genetic insufficiency, today announced the expansion of its leadership team to enhance its deep expertise in oligonucleotide chemistry and rare disease research and development.
Gene Liau, Ph.D., a veteran biopharma executive who has led research and development programs at Pfizer and Novartis, joins Stoke as executive vice president and head of research and preclinical development. Meena, Ph.D., an oligonucleotide chemist with 20 years of research experience in nucleic acids therapeutics, comes aboard as vice president of bioanalytical, DMPK and biomarker development.
“I am delighted to welcome Gene and Meena to the Stoke team. Their wealth of experience and their passion for bringing novel therapies to patients will accelerate our drive to develop the next generation of antisense oligonucleotide medicines,” said Edward M. Kaye, Stoke’s chief executive officer. “They share our mission of pioneering a new way to treat the underlying causes of severe genetic diseases by precisely up-regulating gene expression.”
Gene joins Stoke after three years as senior vice president and head of gene therapy R&D at Precision BioSciences in Durham, N.C. Before that, he led external R&D efforts in rare disease and hematology at Pfizer and spearheaded the Pfizer gene therapy initiative. Prior to Pfizer, Gene helped Shire build an innovative rare disease portfolio. Gene also spent 12 years at Novartis, eventually leading the cardio-metabolic division at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Cambridge, where he was responsible for projects from target discovery to initial clinical proof of concept. Prior to entering the industry, Gene was a professor at George Washington University Medical Center. Gene received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Vanderbilt University and did his postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Benoit de Crombrugghe at the National Cancer Institute.
Meena comes to Stoke from Wave Life Sciences in Cambridge, Mass., where she was a founding employee and senior director of bioanalytical, pharmacology and biomarker development. Meena played a pivotal role in building Wave’s stereopure oligonucleotide chemistry platform and helping to guide the clinical entry of three antisense programs. Before joining Wave, Meena worked at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals on siRNA chemistry and targeted siRNA delivery. Meena received her Ph.D. in chemistry with Dr. K.N. Ganesh at the National Chemical Laboratory in Pune, India and did her post-doctoral research on nucleic acids analogues with Prof. Larry W. McLaughlin at Boston College.
About Stoke Therapeutics
Stoke Therapeutics is a biotechnology company working to increase gene expression to treat a wide array of severe genetic diseases, including genetic conditions affecting the central nervous system, eye and liver. Stoke was launched in 2018 with a $40 million Series A investment funded by Apple Tree Partners. For more information visit www.stoketherapeutics.com.