BERKELEY, Calif., Jan. 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Actym Therapeutics Inc., a privately-held company focused on the development of immunotherapies to treat cancer from its attenuated, microbial-based STACT platform, announced today the appointments of Dr. Lawrence Fong, M.D. and Dr. Michel Streuli, Ph.D., to its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). Actym’s SAB comprises world-renowned subject matter experts in immuno-oncology, innate immunity, microbiology, novel drug discovery and development.
“We are pleased to welcome Drs. Fong and Streuli, two globally recognized experts in immuno-oncology, to Actym’s world-class Scientific Advisory Board,” said Dr. Christopher Thanos, Ph.D., President, Chief Executive Officer, and Co-Founder of Actym. “We look forward to working closely with our SAB as we advance our pipeline and leverage our powerful therapeutic technology platform to ultimately bring benefit to patients with solid tumors.”
Background on Actym’s new SAB Members:
Dr. Lawrence Fong, M.D. — Dr. Fong is Head of the Cancer Immunotherapy Program at UCSF where he is a Distinguished Professor in Cancer Biology. He is also the Co-Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at UCSF and co-leads the Cancer Immunology Program in the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is a physician-scientist in the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology directing both a translational research program and a research lab. He has focused on cancer immunotherapy for over 20 years and has been involved in both pre-clinical and clinical studies of FDA-approved immunotherapies including sipuleucel-T and immune checkpoint inhibitors. Dr. Fong’s research focuses on understanding the mechanisms that underlie clinical response and resistance to immunotherapies. Dr. Fong received his M.D. from Stanford University.
Dr. Michel Streuli, Ph.D. — Dr. Streuli is the Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Pionyr Immunotherapeutics, Inc. Prior to Pionyr, Dr. Streuli held senior research positions at Gilead, Merck, Schering-Plough, and Organon, following a decade on the faculties of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. During his 20 years in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry, he has led numerous drug development programs from discovery through early clinical stage, with a focus on therapies for cancer, chronic viral, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, including overseeing development of the immunomodulatory anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody Keytruda, and chairing the Keytruda early development team that brought Keytruda to the clinic. Dr. Streuli holds a Ph.D. degree from the University of Zurich, where he was involved in the cloning and characterization of interferon-alpha-2, which led to the development of INTRON A and PEG-INTRON.
Drs. Fong and Streuli join Drs. Gregory Barton, Ph.D., Jean-Pierre Bizzari, M.D., Joel Randolph Hecht, M.D., Jason Luke, M.D., Samuel Miller, M.D., Denise Monack, Ph.D., Paul Rennert, Ph.D., and Mario Sznol, M.D. on Actym’s SAB.
Actym Therapeutics, based in Berkeley, CA, is a privately-held biotechnology company focused on discovery and development of novel immuno-oncology therapies to treat cancer. The company has developed an attenuated, microbial-based, immunotherapeutic technology platform called STACT (S. Typhimurium-Attenuated Cancer Therapy). In preclinical studies, STACT specifically enriches in many types of solid tumors and not in healthy tissue. Once there, STACT delivers multiplexed immuno-modulatory payloads directly to tumor-resident immune cells. Many of these payload targets are of significant interest to the biopharmaceutical community but are intractable using conventional approaches due to systemic toxicities after intravenous dosing. Furthermore, STACT has been engineered to deliver payload combinations, which facilitates engagement of multiple biological pathways from a single therapy. In April of 2020, Actym raised $34 million in a Series A financing, co-led by Boehringer-Ingelheim Venture Fund and Panacea Venture Healthcare, with participation from Illumina Ventures, Korea Investment Partners, and JLO Ventures.