Company Startups

A key part of HSCI's mission is to help move discoveries out of the lab and into the market. One strategy is for our faculty to form startup companies based on their work. The following companies have been founded or co-founded by HSCI scientists:

CRISPR Therapeutics

HSCI Principal Faculty member Chad Cowan, PhD, is a scientific co-founder of CRISPR Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company created to translate CRISPR-Cas9, a breakthrough genome-editing technology, into transformative medicines with the potential to cure human genetic diseases.

Fate Therapeutics, Inc.

HSCI Co-director David Scadden, MD, and Executive Committee chair Leonard Zon, MD, are both co-founders of Fate Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of adult stem cell modulators for patients with rare, life-threatening disorders--including certain hematologic malignancies, lysosomal storage disorders, and muscular dystrophies. A discovery from Zon's lab is now in Phase 2 clinical trials as a therapy that improves the success of cord blood transplants in adults.

Gecko Biomedical

HSCI Principal Faculty member Jeffrey Karp, PhD, took a discovery from his lab to co-found Gecko Biomedical, a medical device company dedicated to the development and commercialization of novel biodegradable bio-inspired adhesives in the field of surgery, with a key focus on minimally invasive surgery. Karp is now chairman of the company's clinical and scientific advisory boards.

GenSight Biologics

HSCI Principal Faculty member Connie Cepko, PhD, and Affiliated Faculty member Luk Vandenberghe, PhD, are both co-founders of the Paris-based GenSight Biologics. The biopharmaceutical company is dedicated to the development and commercialization of gene-therapy-based treatments of retinal degenerative diseases.


HSCI Co-director Douglas Melton, PhD, Executive Committee member George Daley, MD, PhD, and Principal Faculty member Lee Rubin, PhD, together co-founded iPierian, which is developing therapies that inhibit the progression of Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases. Daley, Rubin, and Principal Faculty member Kevin Eggan, PhD, now act as scientific advisers.

MatriTarg Laboratories

A venture based in the lab of HSCI Kidney Program leader Benjamin Humphreys, MD, PhD, was the grand-prize winner of the inaugural Harvard Dean’s Health and Life Science Challenge. The venture, called MatriTarg Laboratories, is working on the development of new therapies for scar tissue formation, called fibrosis, which is linked to many chronic diseases.

Moderna: Messenger Therapeutics

HSCI Principal Faculty member Derrick Rossi, PhD, translated a discovery in his laboratory into a whole new class of drugs now being developed by Moderna Therapeutics. The Cambridge-based company, which Rossi co-founded, uses messenger RNA to produce human proteins inside patient cells, which offers an innovative way to deliver drugs to a patient.

Q-State Biosciences

Q-State Biosciences performs optical electrophysiology studies in human iPS-derived models of neuronal and cardiac diseases. The company combines the all-optical electrophysiology platform developed in the lab of HSCI Principal Faculty member Adam Cohen, PhD, with the stem cell-based disease modeling expertise of Principal Faculty member Kevin Eggan, PhD, to provide game-changing solutions to customers in pharma, academia, and to individual patients.

Scholar Rock

HSCI Executive Committee Chair Leonard Zon, MD, is co-founder of Scholar Rock, which is developing a new class of biologic therapies, called niche activators, to target disease-causing proteins. The therapeutics, based on growth activator research by Zon and other co-founder Harvard Medical School's Timothy Springer, PhD, have a wide range of disease applications including autoimmune diseases, fibrosis, and diseases of musculoskeletal systems.

Sentien Biotechnologies, Inc.

HSCI Affiliated Faculty member Biju Parekkadan, PhD, is a co-founder and director of Sentien Biotechnologies, which is developing new products that combine cell therapeutics with drug delivery systems to overcome the limitations of conventional cell administration.