Casma Therapeutics Announces CEO Transition

January 31, 2023


CAMBRIDGE, Mass., January 31, 2023 – Casma Therapeutics, a biotechnology company engaging the autophagy system to provide innovative new medicines, today announced that Keith Dionne, Ph.D., has stepped down as Chief Executive Officer, effective January 13, 2023. Dr. Dionne will continue to serve on the Board of Directors. Frank Gentile, Ph.D., formerly Chief Operating Officer of Casma, has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer and will also serve on the Board of Directors.

“On behalf of Casma’s board, I would like to thank Keith for his leadership and dedication in the founding and building of Casma. Keith has contributed a great deal to Casma and positioned the company for continued success,” said Cary Pfeffer, M.D., member of the Board of Directors of Casma and Partner at Third Rock Ventures. “We are fortunate to have someone of Frank’s experience and have the utmost confidence in his ability to successfully lead Casma during this transition to create breakthrough drugs for patients using Casma’s autophagy-based degradation platform, PHLYTTM.”

“It has been a great privilege to lead this company over the past six years. Working alongside a remarkable team committed to reprograming autophagy to eliminate diseases that current drugs have failed to target has been an absolute honor. I wish the entire Casma team continued success and look forward to continuing to support the company as a member of the Board,” said Dr. Dionne.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead Casma and to continue working with our team to deliver novel therapeutics through the ability to activate the autophagy system to treat patients suffering from serious diseases,” said Dr. Gentile.

Dr. Gentile brings over 30 years of experience working with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Previously, he was a Venture Partner at Third Rock Ventures, where he worked on creating and supporting biotech companies, including Casma. Previously, he served as Senior Vice President at Tekla Capital Management, LLC, where he evaluated and invested in healthcare companies at all stages of development. Dr. Gentile has also held leadership roles at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Curis, Inc. and CytoTherapeutics, Inc. He has served on numerous Boards for biotechnology and medtech companies.


About Casma Therapeutics, Inc.

Casma Therapeutics, Inc. is developing novel cellular degradation approaches based on the autophagy pathway to open new target areas for drug discovery and development that will profoundly impact the lives of patients. Autophagy is a conserved cellular process that contributes to overall cellular homeostasis. The autophagy machinery captures large complex disease targets, such as organelles, protein aggregates and large signaling complexes, and directs these targets to the lysosome for elimination. Through selective degradation of disease targets, Casma expects to arrest or reverse the progression of disease in multiple oncology, inflammation, neurodegeneration, and metabolic disorders. For more information, please visit Casma’s website,


Courteney Backstrom

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