News & Events

Actym Therapeutics Announces Significant Expansion of Senior Leadership

Press Release  |  May 12, 2022


Actym Therapeutics, a privately held biotechnology company developing STACT, a novel therapeutic platform that delivers immunomodulatory payloads to solid tumors after IV dosing, announced today the significant expansion of its senior leadership team. Dr. Julie Cherrington joins as BOD Chair, James Stutz joins as Chief Business Officer, and Dr. Omkar Joshi joins as Vice President, Technical Operations. The appointments strengthen the Company’s strategic, finance, operations, and technical functions.

“On behalf of the Executive Leadership Team and the Board of Directors, we are thrilled to welcome this accomplished group of leaders to Actym.” said Christopher Thanos, President and CEO of Actym. “Each individual brings a proven track record of success in the biotechnology industry. These appointments significantly expand our ability to advance our pipeline, with the ultimate goal of bringing therapeutic benefit to cancer patients with limited treatment options.”

Julie Cherrington PhD, Chair, Board of Directors

Julie is an accomplished life science executive with extensive insight in bringing drugs into the clinic and through to commercialization. She has been a key contributor to the successful development of multiple FDA-approved products, including SUTENT®, PALLADIA®, VISTIDE®, VIREAD®, and HEPSERA®. Julie has served as President and Chief Executive Officer at several biotechnology companies, including QUE Oncology, Arch Oncology, Revitope Oncology, Zenith Epigenetics, and Pathway Therapeutics. In addition, she served as President and Executive Vice President, R&D at Phenomix Corporation. Earlier in her career, Julie was Vice President of Preclinical and Clinical Research at SUGEN, a Pharmacia/Pfizer company. Julie began her career at Gilead Sciences, where she held a range of positions of increasing responsibility. Currently, Julie serves on the Boards of Syncona Ltd, Sardona Therapeutics, KisoJi Biotechnology, MycRx, Vaxart, and Mirati Therapeutics. Julie received her PhD training in Immunology & Microbiology from the University of Minnesota and Stanford University, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at UCSF.

James Stutz, Chief Business Officer

James is an experienced life sciences executive with 20 years in the biopharma industry. He was previously Vice President and Head of Business Development at Instil Bio. Before joining Instil, James was the Chief Financial Officer at Tolerion, and Chief Business Officer at Tioma Therapeutics. James has also held roles of increasing responsibility at InterMune, CoMentis, and Alios BioPharma, which was acquired by Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, in November 2014. While at Alios BioPharma, James served as the Vice President of Strategy & Business Development, where he supported the company’s CBO and was responsible for business development, financial and strategic planning. In addition to operating roles, James was a Principal with Essex Woodlands Health Ventures where he focused on investments in the biopharma and life sciences tools space including ProteinSimple (acquired by BioTechne), Revance Therapeutics, and Symphogen (acquired by Servier). Prior to his career in life sciences, James was a commissioned officer in the United States Air Force. James graduated with honors, from UC Santa Barbara with a B.A. in Business Economics. He also earned an M.B.A from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. From 2012 through 2017 James held an appointment as Lecturer at Stanford University in the Department of Medicine, Division of Clinical Pharmacology in the School of Medicine.

As Chief Business Officer, James will serve as a member of the Actym Executive Leadership Team and be responsible for leading business development, finance, and operations activities for the company.

Omkar Joshi PhD, Vice President, Technical Operations

Omkar was previously Senior Director, MSAT (Manufacturing Sciences and Technology) at Bayer. In his 16-year career at Bayer, he held roles of increasing responsibility, spanning Drug Substance and Drug Product Process Development, Analytical Development and Preclinical Research. He has extensive experience working across various modalities including recombinant proteins, monoclonal antibodies, ADCs, cell therapies and gene therapies. Omkar earned a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the Oregon State University.

As Vice President, Technical Operations, Omkar will serve as a member of the Actym Executive Leadership Team and will be responsible for all aspects of technical development, manufacturing, analytical development, and quality at Actym.

About Actym

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 a patent-protected, 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, with participation from Illumina Ventures, Korea Investment Partners, and JLo Ventures.

Media Contact:

Valerie Enes
Seismic Media Relations
[email protected]

Corporate Contact:

Sheriese Rush, MBA
Head of Operations, Actym Therapeutics, Inc.
[email protected]