Founded in 2022, Couragene is a biotechnology company developing first-in-class in vivo genetic therapies using its proprietary delivery platforms. The company’s technology holds potential for developing gene therapies for brain diseases.
Couragene’s proprietary STEP (Stimuli-responsive Traceless Engineering Platform) technology was developed to leverage chemical engineering approaches to enable efficient intracellular delivery of genetic medicine payloads, such as proteins, gene editors, antibodies, mRNA, antisense oligos (ASOs), and DNA, etc. The chemically engineered payloads can penetrate cells through a non-endocytic pathway. Within the cells, the STEP moiety is cleaved off. Consequently, the payloads are released and fully recover their biological functions.
The STEP technology has demonstrated potential to overcome the delivery hurdles for treatment of various diseases. Couragene is actively advancing multiple disease programs, including for neurogenetic diseases.
The company’s platform originates from Yale University, through the work of co-founders Yong-Hui Jiang and Jiangbing Zhou. In October 2023 the company’s co-founders were awarded $40 million in grant funding to further develop the STEP technology.