Innovation in rAAV gene therapy is a need: AAV capsids

Cell & Gene Therapy Insights 2021; 7(12), 1647–1656


Published: 16 December 2021
Lester Suarez

Lester Suarez, DVM, Ph.D. is a Research & Development (R&D) Director at Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, Inc. (AskBio) where he oversees research activities related to recombinant Adeno-Associated Virus (rAAV) vector biology, rAAV vectorology, and Doggybone™ DNA (dbDNA™) for rAAV production. Dr. Suarez received his DVM from the Agrarian University of Havana, Cuba with a focus on recombinant Adenovirus-based vaccines and Lentiviral transgenesis. He also earned his Ph.D. in Biomedical Research from the University of Navarra, Spain for his work on viral hepatitis and rAAV in vivo gene transfer. In 2019, after completing his post-doctoral training on host-pathogen interactions at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies and University of California San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine, La Jolla, California, Dr. Suarez joined AskBio, bringing to the company more than 15 years of international molecular biology and virology experience. Founded in 2001, AskBio is a wholly owned and independently operated subsidiary of Bayer AG. AskBio is a fully integrated AAV gene therapy company dedicated to developing life-saving medicines that have the potential to cure genetic diseases. The company maintains a portfolio of clinical programs across a range of neuromuscular, central nervous system, and cardiovascular diseases. An early innovator in the gene therapy field, the company holds more than 850 patents, including in areas such as rAAV vector production and chimeric capsids.