New York, N.Y. — Bantam Pharmaceutical, a drug discovery and development company targeting selective modulation of mitochondrial dynamics in cancer, announced today that it has named Michael Stocum, MS as President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Stocum succeeds the founding Chief Executive Officer, Mike Luther, PhD, MBA and will lead the Company’s initial clinical development program. Dr. Luther will remain as an advisor to Executive Management and the Board, supporting the Company’s ongoing efforts. Mr. Stocum joined Bantam in late 2019 as its Chief Business Officer, working with Dr. Luther to strategically position Bantam’s entry into the clinic.
“We are pleased to have an experienced entrepreneur in Michael to transition into the role of President and CEO. Michael is a proven thought leader in oncology product development who can effectively accelerate our recent progress and will successfully lead Bantam’s future efforts as we expand our pipeline,” said Jim Tozer, Co-founding Investor and Board Member. “We greatly appreciate Mike Luther’s dedication and passion in successfully leading the company to date, including recent drug discovery and development accomplishments. We look forward to continuing to work with Mike as we advance our clinical candidate BTM-3566 and future programs.”
In his 25-plus year industry career, Mr. Stocum has held corporate roles of increasing responsibility from bench scientist to executive management in pharmaceuticals, molecular diagnostics, and biotech start-ups, including pharma roles in Organon (now Merck) and GlaxoSmithKline. As Founder and President of Personalized Medicine Partners, Stocum advised numerous early-stage drug discovery and development companies in building strong business strategies, then connecting them with key investors for future growth and clinical leaders for product development trials. Prior to joining Bantam, Stocum served as founding Chief Executive Officer at Inivata, the clinical cancer genomics company spun out of the University of Cambridge (UK) to develop and commercialize liquid biopsy products that improve treatment strategies for cancer patients. During his four-year tenure at Inivata, Stocum built a team of more than 65 while raising approximately $60 million in capital and launching the company’s first product in advanced non-small cell lung cancer.
“Bantam has a unique opportunity to capitalize on the strong scientific foundation and position we have built in oncology as we advance BTM-3566 into the clinic. Our unique knowledge regarding mitochondrial dynamics in cancer cells differentiates us as a leader in this area.” said Mr. Stocum. “As we enter this next chapter, our ambitions and strategic direction remains the same: leverage our fundamental scientific insights to develop new medicines that transform the lives of those living with cancer.”
BTM-3566 is a novel selective modulator of mitochondrial dynamics, targeting the integrated stress response pathway that is uniquely regulated in several cancer types with high unmet need. Bantam has leveraged a phenotypic drug discovery approach to identify the mechanism and related pathways, including mechanistic, efficacy and safety biomarkers. This also allows Bantam to stratify patients based on their response to BTM-3566 using a precision medicine guided drug development strategy. Initial clinical proof of concept studies will focus on B-cell hematological malignancies where preclinical studies demonstrated exceptional efficacy, including rapid, complete regression and prolonged remission in multiple tumor models. Future development plans include expansion into other cancer types based on biomarker-stratified patient responses in early phase studies.
About Bantam Pharmaceutical
Bantam Pharmaceutical is a privately funded biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of novel therapeutics that selectively modulate mitochondrial dynamics in difficult-to-treat hematological and solid tumors. The Company’s current clinical development strategy is focused on areas of unmet clinical need with initial phase I/II clinical trials planned in relapsed/refractory B-cell hematological malignancies, including Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma. The Company is integrating these efforts with its scientific knowledge base, creating a discovery platform to select compounds with promising potential as future clinical candidates across multiple tumor types.