About

At Bright Peak we are creating innovative cytokine therapeutics that are uniquely engineered to precisely control and expand desired biological properties.

Overview

Using our proprietary Enhanced Design and Combine (EDC) chemistry platform, we are developing an emerging portfolio of novel designer immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases.

Bright Peak’s chemistry know-how originated in the laboratory of co-founder Jeffrey Bode, Ph.D., and is exclusively licensed to the company. Dr. Bode is a professor of organic chemistry at ETH Zürich and a leader in the chemical synthesis of proteins. Over the last decade his research group has developed and optimized pioneering approaches to synthesizing and tailoring proteins with atomic precision, creating unique constructs for controlling biological pathways in cancer immunotherapy and autoimmune diseases.

Initially seeded and launched by Versant Ventures at the firm’s Ridgeline Discovery laboratories, Bright Peak is co-located in Basel, Switzerland and San Diego, California.

Our Leadership

Our Team Members

Board of Directors

Alex Mayweg, Ph.D., has served as a member of our board of directors since December 2017. Alex has served as a Managing Director at Versant Ventures, a healthcare investment firm, since March 2020, and previously served as a Partner from January 2018 to February 2020 and as a Venture Partner from January 2017 to December 2017 at Versant Ventures. Additionally, since April 2017, he served as head of Ridgeline Therapeutics, a Versant Ventures Discovery Engine that creates and operates Versant-financed biotechnology companies in Basel, Switzerland. Prior to joining Versant, from 2013 to 2016, Alex served as Vice President and Global Head of Medicinal Chemistry at F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, a multinational healthcare company, and held various leadership positions at Roche in pharmaceutical drug discovery and medicinal chemistry across Europe, the U.S., and Asia. Alex earned his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at Oxford University, followed by post-doctorate training at Stanford University.

Thomas Woiwode, Ph.D., has served as a member of our board of directors since the company’s inception in 2018.  Since 2002, Dr. Woiwode has served in various investment and operational roles at Versant Venture Management, LLC, including Managing Director since July 2014 and a Venture Partner from 2011 to 2014. From 2011 to 2013, Dr. Woiwode served as Chief Operating Officer of Okarios AG, a biopharmaceutical company. Previously, Dr. Woiwode co-founded EuroVentures, a wholly owned biotechnology incubator within Versant, and in this role, served as the founding Chief Business Officer for three  biotechnology portfolio companies. Prior to Versant, Dr. Woiwode served as a Research Scientist at XenoPort, Inc.. Dr. Woiwode currently serves on the boards of directors of Adverum Biotechnologies, Inc., Aligos Therapeutics, Inc., Gritstone Oncology, Inc. and Passage Bio, Inc., as well as several private companies. Dr. Woiwode previously served on the board of directors of Audentes Therapeutics, Inc. and Crispr Therapeutics AG. Dr. Woiwode received a B.A. in English and a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry as an NSF Fellow from Stanford University

Founders

Vijaya R. Pattabiraman is a co-founder of Bright peak and serves as Senior Vice President and Head of Technology. Vijay has made seminal contributions to Bright Peak’s technology and brings in extensive expertise and know-how on the EDC platform. He has more than 15 years of experience in biomolecules, small molecules discovery and development for academic and translational research. Vijay has co-authored several peer-reviewed publications and book chapters in the field of chemical protein synthesis, peptide antibiotics and small-molecules for inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases. He is also a co-inventor on multiple patents and serves as a co-founder of another ETH spin-off company that focuses on automation in chemistry. Vijay has fostered many academic and biotech collaborations and led multi-disciplinary global teams. Since 2012, he worked as a Senior Scientist with Prof. Bode at ETH Zürich and continues with this affiliation. He gained first insights in to the world of drug discovery and development in early 2000’s as a medicinal chemist at Dr. Reddy’s laboratories, a multinational pharmaceutical company. Vijay received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Alberta, Canada and performed his postdoctoral studies at University of Pennsylvania, USA and at ETH Zürich, Switzerland.

Dr. Jeffrey Bode has been a Professor at The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich), since 2010 and is the scientific co-founder of Bright Peak Therapeutics.

Dr. Bode studied Chemistry and Philosophy at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. After graduate and postgraduate studies at the California Institute of Technology, ETH Zürich, and the Tokyo Institute of Technology, he joined the University of California, Santa Barbara as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry. In 2007, he moved to the University of Pennsylvania as an Associate Professor and in 2010 returned to ETH Zürich as a Full Professor. Since 2013, he is also a Principal Investigator at the Institute of Transformative Biomolecules (ITbM) at Nagoya University in Japan. At ETH Zürich, he is a co-founder and Director of Studies for the new undergraduate study program in Biochemistry and Chemical Biology.

Research in the Bode Group has led to innovative new chemical and biological methods for the construction of pharmaceutically relevant compounds, including both small molecules and proteins. His pioneering approaches to synthesizing and tailoring proteins with atomic precision provides access to unique constructs for investigating and controlling biological pathways, including cancer immunotherapy, autoimmune diseases, and ubiquitin biology. He has served as Chair of the Editorial Board for Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry and is currently Editor-in-Chief of Helvetica Chimica Acta and an Executive Editor for the Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis. His research and teaching have been recognized by numerous awards including the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award (2006), the E. J. Corey Award for Outstanding Young Investigator Award (2010), the Mukaiyama Prize (2018) and selection as a MIT Technology Review TR35 Innovator (2006) and Discover Magazine’s “Best Brains in Science” (2008). In addition to Bright Peak Therapeutics, he is a co-founder of Synple Chem AG and consults or collaborates with numerous pharmaceutical companies.

Investors

versant-logo