Meet Our New Board Member: Cody Tranbarger

We asked Cody to answer some questions for us - here's what he had to say!

1. How did you get involved with CRD?

My CRD story starts in 2019, when I stumbled upon Rich’s bio as I was researching Harvard’s MBA program (of which Rich is a graduate; I was ultimately accepted and decided to pursue a different opportunity – to his chagrin!). The vision resonated with me deeply, and while I didn’t immediately reach out (I should have), I couldn’t stop thinking about CRD in the proceeding months. Ultimately, my involvement started with a cold outreach to Rich over LinkedIn, with a coy offer to help in any way I could. That led to an intro, some informal advisory discussions, a few corporate sponsors, and the 2020 CRD gala, after which I knew I’d found a team with whom I deeply wanted to partner.

2. Why are you excited to work with CRD/what made you interested in working with CRD?

For me, CRD sits at the intersection of personal passion and professional context – a passion for genetic therapeutic technologies, a long-standing interest in “n-of-1” medicine, and a budding career in the biotech industry. I couldn’t wait to dive in then, and I couldn’t be more excited to expand my role now. The pieces – organization, technology, regulatory – are in place, and CRD is approaching a pivotal moment. Terry’s treatment will pave the way for many, many more – I’m honored and humbled to have the privilege to contribute.  

3. How do you hope to utilize your background and your network to further CRD's mission?

I’ve spent five years advising and investing in companies in the genetic medicines space. The result of that is not only a network that can be highly accretive to CRD’s efforts but also a thematic awareness of the landscape – its potential, its evolution, and its challenges. I hope to leverage both to help CRD expand its (already incredibly strong) community network, its technological toolkit, and its translational prowess, to ultimately maximize the probability of success for each CRD patient and expand the scope of CRD’s initiatives.

4. What do you hope to accomplish while on the CRD board?

I aspire to democratize today’s most innovative and impactful therapeutic technologies. I believe that every person living with a rare disease should have the opportunity to pursue a transformational therapy. As a board member, I hope to help CRD take a step, however large, in that direction. Along the way, I hope to help CRD scale and industrialize its efforts toward a self-sustainable, patient-centric model, such that our breadth is always increasing, our community always strengthening, and our impact always growing.

5. How do you see the growth of gene therapies for ultra-rare disease impacting drug development broadly?

Personalized medicine will undoubtedly be a long-term secular theme for the industry. Genetically defined modalities, like gene therapy and gene editing, vastly expand our therapeutic toolkit. Critically, these advanced technologies are modular in nature – in other words, once the technology works for a single indication, it’s relatively straightforward to expand that technology into similar indications. Thus, when CRD develops a gene therapy for one patient, those learnings help accelerate all subsequent efforts. As CRD de-risks its technologies, not only can we transform the lives of many ultra-rare disease patients, but we can also play a role in advancing the entire landscape of drug development. CRD is truly changing the world of gene therapy development, one patient at a time.

Thank you, Cody, for taking the time to answer these questions and we look forward to what we can accomplish with you on our board!