September 25, 2023 -- Boston, MA -- hC Bioscience has appointed Jose Lora, Ph.D., as its Chief Scientific Officer (CSO). In this position, Lora will play a pivotal role in helping to shape the Company's strategic direction around its innovative portfolio of therapeutic tRNAs and advancing their lead candidates into the clinic.
"Jose’s experience across multiple therapeutic areas and technologies make him a valuable addition to our team," said Leslie Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer of hC Bioscience. "He brings a proven track record in translational research and will be instrumental in bringing about a new class of treatments with therapeutic tRNA."
Among Lora's priorities is the focus on bringing the Company's lead oncology candidate into the clinic. This candidate is designed to repair premature termination codons (nonsense mutations) in mRNA in order to restore the production of proteins that naturally suppress tumors. Additionally, Lora will oversee the Company's pipeline, direct the therapeutic applications across cancer and inherited diseases, and expand the platform to address missense and frame-shift mutations.
"tRNA-based therapies offer the potential to uniquely repair disease-causing proteins in a highly-targeted way at the level of RNA translation," added Lora. "This means tRNA can target the ten to 15% of all cancers and inherited diseases that are linked to nonsense mutations, which negatively affect production of critical proteins. What makes tRNA so promising is that a single tRNA has the potential to address not just one, but multiple disease-associated mutations in a single therapy, independent of the gene or the position within the gene where the mutation resides."
Dr. Lora has ushered numerous candidates from target identification to Investigational New Drug (IND). In his career, he has worked across a broad range of therapeutic areas, including oncology, rare disease and ophthalmology, and developing multiple therapeutic modalities, including proteins, gene therapies and small molecules.
Prior to hC Bioscience, Lora served as Chief Scientific Officer at Intergalactic Therapeutics and at enGene, a clinical-stage non-viral gene therapy company. Prior to enGene, Lora held senior research positions at Synlogic, Constellation, GlaxoSmithKline, Roche, and Millennium. Lora received his Ph.D. from the University of Seville, Spain, and was a postdoctoral researcher at Brown University and the University of Utah. For biographic information may be found in the side bar to the right.
Our initial focus is designing and developing therapeutic tRNAs to treat cancers caused by gene mutations and inherited diseases. Our lead indications include colorectal cancer that has metastasized to the liver (CRCLM), inherited retinal disease such as retinitis pigmentosa, and muscular dystrophies.
Therapeutic tRNA represents the next-generation of RNA-based therapies. It holds the potential to repair or eliminate damaged proteins from the body by modifying errors in mRNA, a key molecule that translates genes into proteins.
hC Bioscience is Based in Boston, MA and was founded on technology out of Universities such as Iowa, Wisconsin, Rochester, and Chicago. The Company secured $40 million in series A financing with investments from leading venture firms including ARCH Ventures, Takeda Ventures, 8VC, Taiho Ventures, Panacea Venture, and CureDuchene.