Stoke’s co-founders, Professor Adrian Krainer, Ph.D., and Isabel Aznarez, Ph.D., launched the company with the goal of targeting pre-mRNA splicing to develop precision medicines to treat the underlying cause of genetic diseases. Today, our chief executive officer, Edward Kaye, M.D., and chief operating and business officer, Huw Nash, Ph.D., lead the team as we develop new medicines to precisely upregulate protein expression. Dr. Aznarez continues to guide research as Senior Vice President of Discovery Research, and Professor Krainer remains closely involved as a member of the Board of Directors.
Passion for genetic disease research
Dr. Aznarez and Professor Krainer began working together in 2008 at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. Their focus has been on applying antisense oligonucleotides to modulate RNA splicing and RNA metabolism pathways. They share a passion for addressing genetic diseases, and also share a common heritage, as both were born in Uruguay. TANGO is the name of Stoke’s foundational technology and is a nod to their native country.
A revolutionary technology
Dr. Aznarez and Professor Krainer’s early work led to the development of our proprietary TANGO platform, which is designed to allow us to deliver disease-modifying therapies to a wide-range of relevant tissues in a highly precise, durable and controlled manner. While the TANGO mechanisms are novel, Stoke is able to leverage antisense chemistry that has been clinically validated for the central nervous system (CNS), which we believe minimizes the safety and biodistribution risks for Stoke’s CNS programs, including Dravet syndrome and other genetic epilepsies.
The birth of a biotech startup
Dr. Aznarez and Professor Krainer recognized that their insights on RNA splicing and RNA metabolism pathways could potentially be translated into medicines to improve the lives of people living with serious diseases. Teaming up with Dr. Nash, the three founded Stoke Therapeutics. Stoke became a publicly-traded company in 2019.
Rapid progress toward the clinic
Since our founding, the team at Stoke has built upon Dr. Aznarez’s and Professor Krainer’s work to continue developing our proprietary TANGO platform. We are using the TANGO platform to build a pipeline of potential new medicines to help people with severe genetic epilepsies and other diseases that are caused by an individual gene. Stoke’s lead program is a potentially disease-modifying treatment for Dravet syndrome, a severe and progressive form of genetic epilepsy. Beyond genetic epilepsies, we are advancing several other early programs, with an initial focus on haploinsufficient diseases of the central nervous system and the eye.