Seema Kantak, Ph.D. ’95, was appointed chief scientific officer by Symic, a clinical-stage biotherapeutics company developing multiple compounds that target and affect the extracellular matrix.
“Seema has an impressive track record of scientific and operational success in biotechnology and pharmaceutical discovery,” said Ken Horne, Symic’s chief executive officer of Symic. “As CSO, she will be responsible for leading Symic's discovery and preclinical research efforts.”
Symic's primary technology was developed at the Purdue University Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering in the laboratory of Alyssa Panitch, Ph.D., the Leslie A. Geddes Professor of Biomedical Engineering and a founder and scientific advisory board member of Symic. “Seema has significant experience leading research and development efforts, from target identification to early clinical development, and we are pleased that Seema has joined the Symic team at this exciting time for the company,” Dr. Panitch said.
Dr. Kantak brings more than 16 years of experience in biotechnology and pharmaceutical research and development to Symic, which is based in San Francisco. Before joining Symic, she served as vice president of Research and Preclinical Development at Nektar Therapeutics, where she was responsible for global projects in oncology, inflammation and pain, and was team lead for a biologics program in immuno-oncology. She was also site head of Nektar India, and was instrumental in establishing a high performance research and development organization in India. She formerly led Pharmacology, Translational Research & Clinical Biomarker Strategy at XOMA, and contributed to several antibody programs from discovery to investigational new drug in multiple strategic alliances with pharmaceutical partners. Dr. Kantak previously held leadership positions ay Celera Therapeutics and Axys Pharmaceuticals.
In addition to receiving her doctoral degree in cancer biology from the Wayne State University School of Medicine, Dr. Kantak completed her postdoctoral work at the University of California San Francisco. She also received a master’s degree in biology from Wayne State University.