Myst Therapeutics (Myst), a preclinical stage biotechnology company focused on developing selected TIL-based autologous T cell (PuriT™) therapy products for cancer, announced the appointment of George Smith, PhD, MBA as Vice President of Business Operations. Dr. Smith, who brings to Myst over 20 years of successful drug development experience at both biotechnology and global pharmaceutical companies, was previously the founder and lead for the Cell and Gene Therapy Center and Senior Director Portfolio and Innovation at IQVIA. Prior to IQVIA, he led R&D programs at Pfizer for 14 years and built multiple successful start-ups.
“Dr. Smith’s vast experience in drug development from conception to approval will be instrumental to advancing Myst’s PuriT™ products through multi-center clinical trials and on to registration,” said TJ Langer President and Chief Executive Officer of Myst Therapeutics. “We are very pleased to welcome him to the Myst management team.”
At IQVIA, George founded and built the Cell and Gene Therapy Center, a group of cell and gene therapy (CAGT) experts focused on preclinical, clinical and commercial development of CAGT therapeutics. He also led due diligence programs. Prior to IQVIA, he led R&D programs, scientific groups and translational medicine for the Antiviral and Therapeutic Vaccine Therapeutic Areas at Pfizer. He has helped build multiple successful start-ups, including Althea Technologies and K2 Biopharma. George is currently on the advisory board for Visicell Medical. “The innovative PuriT™ approach shows tremendous potential for inducing significant and durable remissions,” said Dr. Smith. “Myst has a promising product pipeline and a very experienced management team. I am thrilled to join them in developing this new cancer modality.”
Dr. Smith received his Doctorate from the University of California, San Diego based on his work at the Salk Institute and his MBA from the Rady School of Business at UCSD. He is an author of over 10 peer-review publications and has been a speaker at over 50 conferences.
About the PuriT™ Platform
Clinical evidence has demonstrated that a patients’ tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) recognize tumor specific molecules, traffic to the tumor, respond to tumor antigen, and selectively eradicate tumors. Clinical studies using these cells have shown durable objective clinical responses in patients with advanced metastatic disease, including refractory melanoma, breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer. Myst’s PuriT™ platform builds on these successes by enriching and rejuvenating TIL to further improve responses. These encouraging results highlight PuriT™ as an emerging modality capable of providing personalized therapy options for patients spanning a broad spectrum of diseases.
About Myst Therapeutics
Myst Therapeutics Inc. is a privately held, pre-clinical stage biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of novel cancer immunotherapy products designed to harness the power of a patient’s own immune system to treat solid tumors. Myst is developing technologies to enable, scale and improve adoptive cell therapies with a focus on improving clinically effective neoantigen enriched T cell therapies for solid tumors. Myst has combined methods of identifying neoantigen reactive T cells from tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) with Myst’s proprietary technologies and expertise in the development and manufacturing of cell therapies. We believe this combination will enable Myst to rapidly advance and commercialize highly promising and innovative therapies, addressing a wide range of advanced solid tumors.