Multiplying the possibilities™ for patients


Our Purpose

Capstan’s mission is to multiply the therapeutic possibilities for patients by developing targeted in vivo RNA-based therapies.

Our core platform technology pertains to proprietary targeted lipid nanoparticles (tLNPs) that are composed of LNPs conjugated with a recombinant protein binder, such as a monoclonal antibody, and are designed to deliver payloads, including mRNA or gene editing tools, capable of reprograming specific cell types in vivo.

Our Science

Our tLNP platform is made up of three components:

  1. LNP delivery vehicle

    Capstan’s proprietary lipid nanoparticle is a non-viral system designed for safe, repeat in vivo dosing.

    Cell type-specific targeting binders

    Antibody or antibody fragments functionalized onto the nanoparticle surface, creating targeted lipid nanoparticles (tLNPs) for efficient delivery of disease-specific payloads.

    Disease-specific payloads

    mRNA encoding for Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CARs), gene editing machinery, and other therapeutic proteins.

Proprietary LNP Targeting binders Payloads

Our in vivo engineering technology has the potential to generate transformative therapies with applications possible across a broad range of disease areas, including oncology, autoimmune disorders, fibrosis, and monogenic blood disorders.

Repeat dosing and drug-like pharmacokinetics

Tunability to fit safety and efficacy bars depending on disease indication

Scalable manufacturing

Potential administration in earlier disease stages and in outpatient settings

Cell type-specific targeting of disease-relevant cells

Modular therapeutic product design with a toolbox of tLNP constructs and a broad range of payloads

Our Approach

Our technology enables us to pursue two distinct approaches to treating disease: engineering immune cells and targeting pathogenic cells

Engineering of immune cells

We can deliver mRNA-encoded CARs to specific subsets of immune cells, engineering them to eliminate pathogenic cells that express antigens recognized by the CAR.

Targeting of pathogenic cells

By delivering mRNA-encoded gene editing machinery to pathogenic cells, we can modify the cells’ DNA to treat genetic disease.

Our Team

Meet our team of experts

We are a diverse team of scientific leaders from the field of cell and gene therapy, RNA and delivery technologies, and drug development who are committed to pioneering a new frontier of medicine to improve market access and scalability and multiply the therapeutic possibilities for patients.

Laura Shawver, Ph.D.

President and Chief Executive Officer

Gregor Adams, Ph.D.

Vice President of Pharmacology & Toxicology

Haig Aghajanian, Ph.D.

Co-Founder and Vice President of Research

Steven M. Albelda, M.D.

Professor of Medicine, UPenn

Miguel Arcinas

Senior Vice President of Corporate Development

Michael Baran

Representing Pfizer Ventures

Adrian Bot, M.D., Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President of R&D

Erez Chimovits

Representing Orbimed

Athena Countouriotis, M.D.

Board Chair

David Diamond, Ph.D.

Vice President of Intellectual Property

Jonathan A. Epstein, M.D.

Professor, Interim Executive Vice President, Dean, UPenn

Ramin Farzaneh-Far, M.D.

Chief Medical Officer

Rajul Jain

Representing Vida Ventures

Carl H. June, M.D.

Professor, Director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies and Director of the Parker Institute, UPenn

Priya Karmali, Ph.D.

Chief Technology Officer

Bruce Levine, Ph.D.

Professor in Cancer Gene Therapy, UPenn

Nanna Luneborg, Ph.D., MBA

Representing Forbion

Michelle Mazzoni, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance

Michael J. Mitchell, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, UPenn

Hamideh Parhiz, PharmD, Ph.D.

Faculty Member, UPenn

Jeffrey Pepe, Ph.D., J.D.

General Counsel

Fabio Pucci, Ph.D.

Representing Leaps by Bayer

Ellen Puré, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair of Biomedical Sciences, UPenn

Michael Rosenzweig, DVM, Ph.D.

Executive Vice President, Portfolio Strategy and Product Development

John Rossi, M.S.

Vice President and Head of Translational Medicine

Nandita Shangari

Representing RA Capital

Michal Silverberg

Representing Novartis Venture Fund

Karen Smith

Independent Director

Justin Thacker

Chief Financial Officer

Drew Weissman, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Medicine, UPenn

Holly Winter

Senior Vice President, People and Culture

Thomas A. Wynn, Ph.D.

Vice President of Discovery, Pfizer

Our Investors

They put their trust in us


Presentations and Publications

Learn more about our past, present and future

Publication - 21 Mar, 2024


IL7 increases targeted lipid nanoparticle–mediated mRNA expression in T cells in vitro and in vivo by enhancing T cell protein translation

Publication - 27 Jul, 2023


In vivo hematopoietic stem cell modification by mRNA delivery

Publication - 29 Aug, 2022

Cell & Gene Therapy Insights

In Vivo engineering of CAR T cell therapies

Publication - 21 Apr, 2022

The New England Journal of Medicine

Fighting Cardiac Fibrosis with CAR T Cells

Publication - 28 Feb, 2022

Nature Metabolism

CAR-based therapies: opportunities for immuno-medicine beyond cancer

Publication - 6 Jan, 2022


CAR T cells produced in vivo to treat cardiac injury

Publication - 6 Jan, 2022


mRNA shot spawns CAR-T cells in the body to repair heart disease damage

Publication - 6 Jan, 2022


mRNA vaccine technology has helped repair broken hearts in mice

Publication - 3 Jun, 2021

Cell Press

Highly efficient CD4+ T cell targeting ..

Publication - 19 Dec, 2019

The New England Journal of Medicine

When the CAR Targets Scar

Publication - 11 Sep, 2019


Targeting cardiac fibrosis with engineered T cells

Press Release - 31 May, 2024

Capstan Therapeutics to Participate in 45th Annual Goldman Sachs Global Healthcare Conference

Press Release - 20 Mar, 2024

Capstan Therapeutics Announces $175M Oversubscribed Series B Financing

Press Release - 1 Mar, 2024

Capstan Therapeutics to Participate in Cowen 44th Annual Health Care Conference

Press Release - 8 Jan, 2024

Capstan Therapeutics Appoints Ramin Farzaneh-Far, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer and Announces Key Business Leadership Promotion

Press Release - 31 Oct, 2023

Capstan Therapeutics to Present Preclinical Data at SITC Demonstrating Rapid Anti-Primary B Cell and Anti-Tumor Activity in Mice with Proprietary Targeted Lipid Nanoparticles Delivering an Anti-CD19 CAR mRNA Construct

Press Release - 2 Oct, 2023

Capstan Therapeutics Co-Founder Drew Weissman, M.D., Ph.D., Awarded Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for Enabling Rapid Development of RNA-based COVID-19 Vaccine

Press Release - 26 Sep, 2023

Capstan Therapeutics to Participate in Upcoming Industry Conferences

Press Release - 23 Mar, 2023

Capstan Therapeutics to Participate in Upcoming Investor Conferences

Press Release - 22 Mar, 2023

Capstan Therapeutics Appoints Justin Thacker as Chief Financial Officer and Jeffrey Pepe, J.D., Ph.D., as General Counsel

Press Release - 22 Feb, 2023

Capstan Therapeutics to Participate in Cowen 43rd Annual Health Care Conference

Press Release - 24 Jan, 2023

Capstan Therapeutics to Participate in SVB Securities 2023 Global Biopharma Conference

Press Release - 12 Oct, 2022

Capstan Therapeutics Announces Appointment of Athena Countouriotis, M.D., as Board Chair and Strengthens Leadership Team with Key Appointment

Press Release - 14 Sep, 2022

Capstan Therapeutics Launches with $165 Million to Deliver on the Clinical Promise of Precise In Vivo Cell Engineering

Presentation - 4 Nov, 2023

SITC 2023: IL7 increases targeted lipid nanoparticle-mediated mRNA expression in T cells in vitro and in vivo by enhancing T cell translation

Presentation - 3 Nov, 2023

SITC 2023: In vivo engineering of CAR T cells using a novel targeted LNP-mRNA technology

News Coverage - 12 Apr, 2024

MIT Technology Review

The effort to make a breakthrough cancer therapy cheaper

News Coverage - 20 Mar, 2024

San Diego Union Tribune

Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Eli Lilly and other big pharmas are backing this San Diego biotech with $175M

News Coverage - 16 Feb, 2024


Creating CAR T therapies that don’t cause cancer

News Coverage - 16 Nov, 2023


Nobel Winner Drew Weissman Shares 7 Insights On Future mRNA Breakthroughs

News Coverage - 7 Nov, 2023


mRNA’s next trick? Reprogramming off-the-shelf cell therapies for cancer and autoimmune diseases

News Coverage - 3 Nov, 2023

Biotech TV

Capstan Therapeutics’ Laura Shawver on ’decorating’ LNPs with antibodies

News Coverage - 18 Oct, 2022

BioPharma Dive

CAR-T pioneer Carl June on founding startups and cell therapy’s next act

News Coverage - 14 Sep, 2022


Backed by five pharma giants and a crew of Penn superstars, a startup uses mRNA to create in vivo CAR-T — with a pro at the helm

News Coverage - 14 Sep, 2022


Medical pioneers team up to launch new cell therapy biotech


Join our team

We are seeking people who share our passion and purpose of pushing the boundaries of medicine by enabling targeted in vivo engineering of cells.


Pioneering new medicines requires all of us to harness our best and boldest thinking. We are intellectually curious, not afraid to take risks and are open to continuous learning. Our creativity is anchored in integrity, scientific rigor, and the pursuit of quality solutions for patients. 


The complexity of our work requires us to trust each other and work together at every level. We communicate clearly, seek diverse perspectives, and truly listen, all while holding each other accountable to do our best work to move this science forward.


This work is hard—there will be setbacks that we need to learn from. We bring our passion for patients to everything we do; we are resilient and resolved because we know the impact of our work can make a difference for patients, everywhere.

An Ongoing Commitment to DEI

An element of Capstan’s mission is to create medicines that enable broader access for patients. We can only achieve that by building a company that represents and values the different voices and perspectives that is reflective of our world today. We will continue to build an inclusive culture that supports our employees in bringing their best selves to work and enables them to pursue opportunities in a fair and equitable way.

Want to be a Capstaneer? Let’s talk.

For more job opportunities, please inquire [email protected]


Find our headquarters

San Diego

9880 Campus Point Dr
Suite 220