News & Events

Actym Therapeutics Appoints Thomas Smart as CEO

Press Release  |  April 24, 2024

BERKELEY, CA — April 24, 2024

Actym Therapeutics, pioneering a new drug modality to treat solid tumors, announced today the appointment of Thomas Smart as Chief Executive Officer. With 25 years of experience in senior management and executive roles as well as Board of Directors positions across the biopharmaceutical industry, Mr. Smart brings a significant track record in leading organizations through value-building transitions. His breadth of expertise will be highly beneficial to Actym as it prepares to enter clinical evaluation of its lead candidate, ACTM-838, later this year.

Actym’s proprietary platform, S. Typhimurium-Attenuated Cancer Therapy (STACT), represents a novel approach to achieving comprehensive immunological reprogramming of the tumor microenvironment. Mr. Smart’s appointment follows Actym’s recent presentations of preclinical data at both the 2023 SITC and 2024 AACR Annual Meetings showcasing ACTM-838’s ability to selectively accumulate in the TME and locally deliver two potent payloads, engineered IL-15 and engineered STING.

“Tom is an extremely valuable addition to Actym’s leadership, bringing extensive experience in corporate development and strategic planning, coupled with a profound understanding of how to translate innovative R&D into novel therapeutics. With Tom at the helm, we are ready for our next stage of corporate growth as we close in on the start of our Phase 1 clinical development program for ACTM-838,” said Julie Cherrington, Ph.D., Executive Chair of the Actym Board of Directors. “We extend our thanks to Chris Thanos for his founding contributions to the company.”

“Actym represents an exceptional opportunity to achieve a new level of therapeutic impact across multiple tumor types. In addition to moving ACTM-838 into the clinic in the second quarter, our goal is to expand our pipeline with additional candidates from Actym’s modular platform. The STACT approach provides both efficacy and safety advantages by leveraging a genetically modified bacteria vehicle, systemically administered, that achieves tissue-specific delivery of large nucleic acid payloads,” said Thomas Smart, CEO of Actym. “I look forward to collaborating with the Board of Directors and the entire Actym team to maximize the potential of ACTM-838 and our platform.”

Mr. Smart has a distinguished 25-year career as a biotech executive, demonstrating dynamic leadership in roles such as CEO, CBO, SVP, and Board Member. In addition, Mr. Smart has a comprehensive background in therapeutic modalities ranging from antibodies and small molecules to peptides, RNA, DNA, CAR-T, and other cell therapies. Before joining Actym Therapeutics, Mr. Smart founded Gravitas Therapeutics, where he served as CEO and Board Chair and orchestrated the acquisition and subsequent sale of the clinical-stage antifungal asset, GR-2397, to Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd (SIX: BSLN) in October 2023. His prior leadership roles include serving as CEO and Board Chair of AnaptysBio (NASDAQ: ANAB), Chief Business Officer of XOMA (NASDAQ: XOMA), and various positions at Genetics Institute (now Pfizer), GenVec (now Precigen; NASDAQ: PGEN), Searle (now Pfizer), and Cell Genesys. Mr. Smart holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University and earned his Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

About Actym Therapeutics
Actym Therapeutics has engineered a new drug modality harnessing the power of a genetically modified bacterial vehicle that safely introduces therapeutic payloads to activate the immune response in the tumor microenvironment. To achieve targeted anti-tumor effects, we have developed a systemically administered treatment that exploits intrinsic TME-specific metabolites, enabling selective enrichment of the bacterial vehicle in tumors. After cell-specific entry, our lead candidate, ACTM-838, positively activates tumor-resident myeloid cells and delivers two synergistic payloads, optimized IL-15 and STING, unlocking a comprehensive and durable innate and adaptive anti-tumor immune response. With the ability to tailor our platform utilizing a range of payload combinations, we aim to achieve a new level of therapeutic impact for cancer patients across multiple tumor types.

For Actym Therapeutics
Thomas E. Smart, CEO
E-Mail: [email protected]

Media Requests for Actym
Dr. Alison Opalko or Sara Ortiz
Trophic Communications
Phone: +49 151 54041130 or +49 160 90816161
E-Mail: [email protected]