DNA

Pioneering tRNA therapeutics to modulate mRNA function and cure a broad range of genetic diseases

Our Story

Tevard Biosciences was founded by renowned MIT molecular cell biologist Professor Harvey Lodish, along with Daniel Fischer and Warren Lammert, parents of children with Dravet syndrome, with the goal of developing novel gene therapy approaches to cure this and many other types of genetic diseases.

Tevard (tā-vərd)
reversing Dravet…

stories

Setting out to find revolutionary approaches to cure patients with Dravet, Harvey, together with the research labs of Professors Jeff Coller and Chris Ahern, invented two unique tRNA-based platforms that could cure not only Dravet, but many other rare diseases caused by having only one healthy copy of a gene leads to insufficient protein productionhaploinsufficiency and/or substitution of a single nucleotide produces a premature stop codon, leading to truncated, non-functional proteinsnonsense mutations.

Dravet syndrome is a rare and severe form of epilepsy that affects approximately 1 in 16,000 individuals. In 85% of cases, Dravet is caused by a loss-of-function mutation in one copy (haploinsufficiency) of the SCN1A gene. Over 20% of Dravet causing mutations are premature stop codons, causing production of a nonfunctional protein fragment.

Due to its large size, the SCNIA gene cannot be delivered by common viral vectors. What’s more, over-expressing SCN1A can have deleterious effects. Therefore, Dravet—like many other genetic diseases—is not amenable to traditional gene therapy approaches.

RECIPIENT OF THE 2018 PFIZER GOLDEN TICKET

Early on, Tevard was a recipient of Pfizer’s coveted Golden Ticket award, recognizing the company’s “overall vision clarity, quality of the science and the passion and personal meaning behind the research.”

Our Science

We have developed two unique tRNA-based therapies with the potential to provide durable cures for many rare diseases.

Suppressor tRNAs

For diseases caused by nonsense mutations. By using a viral vector to express a patented tRNA in targeted cells, we insert the normal amino acid at the site of the premature stop codon, generating a normal functional protein. Because many diseases share same premature stop codon, the same Suppressor tRNA can treat multiple diseases.

Tevard Biosciences - Lifelong cures for patients with rare genetic diseases

Enhancer tRNAs

For diseases caused by haploinsufficiency. By using a viral vector to overexpress a unique combination of endogenous tRNAs in targeted cells, we increase the amount of protein produced by the wild-type (functional) copy of the specific gene to its normal level by increasing the stability and thus the half-life of its mRNA.

Tevard Biosciences - Lifelong cures for patients with rare genetic diseases

Many of the defective genes we repair must be expressed at precise and different levels in different types of body cells. Both of our approaches are highly selective and restore the expression of the gene to its normal levels appropriate for each type of cell.

Our technologies function regardless of the position of the mutation in the gene. They do not involve modifying the cell’s regulatory elements or introducing foreign genetic regulator elements – procedures utilized in gene therapies.

Tevard has exclusively licensed key IP from The Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at MIT, Case Western Reserve University, The Wistar Institute, The University of Iowa, and The Johns Hopkins University.

THERAPEUTIC FOCUS

Our lead CNS indication is Dravet syndrome, for which we are currently pursuing a dual approach: using Enhancer tRNAs Stabilization to increase expression of the healthy copy of SCN1A and using Suppressor tRNAs to allow production of full-length protein off the faulty copy of the gene.

Closely following our Dravet program , we are developing cures for other genetic epilepsies and CNS indications.

Beyond CNS we are also pursuing non-CNS indications caused by haploinsufficiency and/or nonsense mutations.

An estimated 300 to 1000 diseases are caused by haploinsufficiency, where a single functional copy of a gene is insufficient for normal function, and 1800 diseases are the result of nonsense mutations, in total, affecting millions of patients world-wide.

LEADERSHIP TEAM

Tevard has assembled a team of scientific, clinical, and industry leaders to drive tRNA therapies to patients in a timeframe that matters.

Harvey Lodish, Ph.D.

Co-Founder, Chair of the SAB, and Board Member

Warren Lammert

Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board

Jeffery Coller, Ph.D.

Scientific Co-Founder, Scientific Advisor

Daniel Fischer

Co-Founder, President and CEO, Board Member

Gregory Robinson, Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer

Paul Schimmel, Ph.D.

Scientific Advisor, Board Member

Susan Ackerman, Ph.D.

Scientific Advisor

Zoya Ignatova, Ph.D.

Scientific Advisor

Amy Salzhauer

Board Member

David Liu, Ph.D.

Scientific Advisor

Stephen Farr, Ph.D.

Board Member

Jeffrey Walsh

Board Member

Lawrence Olanoff, MD, Ph.D.

Board Member

Nicholas Ingolia, Ph.D.

Scientific Advisor

Ben Deverman, Ph.D.

Scientific Advisor

Annapurna Poduri, M.D., M.P.H

Scientific Advisor

Orrin Devinsky, M.D.

Scientific Advisor, Board Observer

Travis Hinson, M.D.

Scientific Advisor

Daniel Lazzari, MBA

VP of Finance

Paul Kaplan, Ph.D.

VP of Development Operations

Peter Eimon, Ph.D.

Director of Research

Lita Nelsen

Advisor

Xiaohua Wang, Ph.D.

Board Observer

Geoffrey Pitt, M.D., Ph.D.

Scientific Advisor

Al George, Ph.D.

Scientific Advisor

Viggo Blomquist

Senior Research Associate I

Michael Calhoun

Senior Associate Scientist II

Bin Chen, Ph.D.

Senior Research Scientist

Ying-Hsin Chen, Ph.D.

Senior Research Scientist

Rhianna Cohen, MSW

Associate Director of Lab Operations

Yuanzhao Darcy, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Director, In Vivo Pharmacology

Hollyce Hartzler

Senior Research Associate II, Molecular Biology

Jivan Khlghatyan, Ph.D.

Senior Research Scientist

Ethan Koh, M.S.

Research Associate

Ping La, Ph.D

Associate Director, PD and CMC

Sean McFarland, PhD

Head of BioInformatics

Caitlin Monaghan, Ph.D.

Senior Research Scientist, RNA Biology

McKenna Montminy

Research Associate II

Julien Oury, Ph.D.

Principal scientist

Victoria Rose

Research Associate

Gokul Sriman, M.S.

Research Associate, in vivo Pharmacology

Prat Thiru, M.S.

Senior Scientist, Bioinformatics

Steffany Villaseñor

Research Associate II

News

Nov 13 2023

Tevard Biosciences appoints Dr. Gregory Robinson as Chief Scientific Officer

Tevard Biosciences, Inc., the pioneer of tRNA-based therapies and other mRNA-modulating treatments for genetic diseases, announced today that it has appointed Dr. Gregory Robinson as Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Robinson brings extensive leadership experience with research and clinical development. “Dr. Robinson has a long track record of success in translating innovative science into new medicines […]

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Feb 28 2023

Tevard Biosciences announces collaboration with Vertex to develop novel tRNA-based therapies for Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Tevard Biosciences, Inc., the pioneer of tRNA-based therapies for severe genetic diseases, today announced a four-year global research collaboration with Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated aimed at creating new tRNA-based therapies for patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) caused by nonsense mutations with options to expand into additional muscular dystrophies and a second indication. The agreement provides […]

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CAREERS

At Tevard we are looking for highly-qualified and passionate professionals to join our team. As a member of our team you will become a part of our mission to develop novel tRNA-based therapies to transform patients’ and families’ lives.

Research Associate – in vivo Pharmacology
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Research Associate – mRNA Biology
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Computational Biologist and Machine Learning
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