Biotalk Episode 11: A Conversation with Shehnaaz Suliman of ReCode Therapeutics

On this episode of Biotalk, Locust Walk‘s Daniel Brog welcomes with Shehnaaz Suliman, M.D., CEO of ReCode Therapeutics, a clinical-stage genetic medicines company using its selective organ targeting lipid nanoparticle platform to power the next wave of mRNA and gene correction therapeutics.

With over 25 years of experience, Shehnaaz brings a multifaceted perspective to the discussion. She has held diverse roles, from practicing physician to dealmaker, and now leads the charge at ReCode. Join us as we delve into the distinctive qualities that set ReCode apart and to discover the groundbreaking technology behind their selective organ targeting lipid nanoparticle platform, known as SORT.

As a seasoned Biotech CEO and respected board member, Shehnaaz offers insights into what qualities make a great board member and why diversity is crucial in shaping the future of biotech leadership. We’ll explore the role of boards in promoting diversity and address the barriers that persist in achieving this essential goal within the biotech industry.

We invite you to tune in to this engaging podcast episode. Subscribe or follow Biotalk on Apple Podcasts | Spotify.   


1:08: To kick things off, I’d love for you to provide our audience with some background as to what led you to your initial exploration of biotech?

5:23: You mentioned a keen interest in the activism side of things. Coming from your physician background in South Africa, alongside deal making, how you have incorporated activism throughout your career?

7:51: Recode is doing innovative work with targeted lipid nanoparticle platform SORT. Tell us more about the platform and what makes ReCode’s approach so unique.

14:14: Your SORT platform can target several potential organs. How did you select the lung for your lead assets?

19:49: Within the field of RNA therapeutics and outside of delivery, are there other technologies that you think will play the most significant role in moving this space forward?

28:38: As you look at where Recode stands today, what are you most excited about looking forward?

30:40: How has the biotech market downturn impacted your business and how you think about prioritizing next steps for the company?

33:58: You recently closed a Series B financing – congratulations! The current macro biotech environment has been challenging, especially for earlier stage platform companies. What was critical to success in your most recent fundraise?

41:00: Was there a particular reason ReCode decided to deprioritize some of the CNS programs, at least for your own internal development and focus on those as partnering opportunities?

42:25: You are an experienced Biotech CEO, board member and of Women in Bio’s Board Ready Program. What qualities do you think make a good board member? Why is it important to focus diversity when shaping board composition?

51:01: What would you say are the major barriers that you see in terms of increasing diversity in the biotech industry and at the leadership level?

56:25: What is your actionable advice to minority groups as they advance their education and careers in the life sciences?