My guest today is Rachel Haurwitz, co-founder, President and CEO of Caribou Biosciences. Caribou is a CRISPR genome editing company spun out of Jennifer Doudna’s lab at the University of California, Berkeley. In this episode of lab to startup, we...
My guest today is Rachel Haurwitz, co-founder, President and CEO of Caribou Biosciences. Caribou is a CRISPR genome editing company spun out of Jennifer Doudna’s lab at the University of California, Berkeley.
In this episode of lab to startup, we will talk to Rachel about how she built Caribou right after finishing her PhD in Jennifer Doudna’s lab, and went all the way to taking the company public last year in the midst of a pandemic. We will talk about how she took a very nascent idea of CRISPR, built a team, raised funds, built collaborations with big companies; and built this very successful company that has recently reported phase I clinical study results.
- Caribou Biosciences
- Rachel founded Caribou Biosciences right out of grad school, as Jennifer Doudna's first graduate student working on CRISPR
- chRDNA technology enhances the specificity of gene editing and at multiple locations
- Targeting cancers- both liquid and solid tumors
- Autologous CAR T cell therapy is hard to scale
- Caribou is working on off the shelf cell therapies- Allogeneic CAR T therapy
- Massive pivot as an organization- started as a pure platform technology company to help other companies
- Found real opportunity to help patients directly by developing therapeutics
- chRDNA has provided several orders of improvement in specificity- no off target effects observed within the limits of detection
- Phase I clinical trial ANTLER : https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04637763?term=cb-010&draw=2&rank=1
- The most important ingredient in building is not technology- it is team!
- The first ten hires are the most terrifying hires for any startup
- Analysis paralysis
- Incoming interest in technology and money came from Dupont Pioneer and Novartis
- Raise more money than you need!
- Building the team and role played by Jennifer Doudna
- Lessons learnt from building and serving on boards
- Job opportunities