Strand Therapeutics — Genetically Programming mRNA

Stephen Braunewell
Jun 6, 2019 · 2 min read
Strand Tx Co-Founder, Jacob Becraft explaining the power of genetically programmed mRNA during the MIT 100k launch competition. Image via

Strand Therapeutics is an early stage biotech company that is harnessing the power of synthetic biology to genetically program mRNA in order to deliver ground-breaking immunotherapies.

The Problem

Cells utilize mRNA to translate genes of DNA into productive proteins that are vital to various bodily functions. Many biotechs have turned to the thought of administering mRNA therapeutically, which would essentially turn a patient into a self-sufficient “drug factory.” As promising as this idea sounds, there are two major hangups in the field. Therapeutic mRNA has been known to trigger an immune response in some patients, causing cells to cease protein production all together. Scientists also are unsure that the amount of protein produced by the mRNA given in these therapies is enough to alter the targeted disease states.

What The Company Does

Strand’s mRNA programming technology promises to make mRNA therapies safer and more effective by programming the location, timing and intensity of therapeutic protein expression inside a patient’s body using mRNA-encoded logic circuits. These circuits can implement cell-type specific expression by sensing and classifying the unique mRNA expression signatures of cells, as well as controlling the dosage of protein expression by responding to exogenously administered small molecules.


Strand has taken the biotech world by a storm, boasting various awards including the Sloan Healthcare Innovation Prize; MIT$100K Finalist; BMS Golden Ticket Winner; Creative Destruction Labs — NYC Accelerator Alumni; Amgen Golden Ticket Finalist; Millipore Golden Ticket Finalist and Boehringer Ingelheim Golden Ticket Finalist.

Founding Team Background

Strand Tx was founded by the ingenious minds of Jacob Becraft, Tasuku Kitada, Ron Weiss, and Darrell Irvine. Utilizing the resources of the MIT Synthetic Biology Center and the Koch Institute, the team was able to build the core technology of Strand Tx and create the field of mRNA-based synthetic biology.

What they need help with:

Strand is currently hiring talented scientists to join their team, especially those with management or research directing experience. To apply, visit for info or reach out to directly.

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Stephen Braunewell

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Life Science professional that is passionate about healthcare, biotech, and New England startup ecosystem.


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