Expanding the boundaries of cytokine biology:

Pioneering the chemical synthesis and engineering of cytokines to create next-generation immunotherapies for cancer and autoimmune disease.


At Bright Peak we use our proprietary chemical protein synthesis technology to create rationally designed cytokines with improved therapeutic properties, overcoming the functional limitations of first-generation therapies. 

Our synthesis platform provides unparalleled flexibility to engineer cytokines, allowing us to simultaneously fine-tune biological properties while adding exploitable features such as conjugation handles. We’ve designed Bright Peak’s cytokines to be easily conjugated to a diverse array of existing molecules, such as monoclonal antibodies, to optimize biological effects. When linked to antibodies, our enhanced cytokines serve as ‘payloads’, creating a novel class of dual-targeting biologics we call “Bright Peak Immunocytokines”.

Bright Peak’s technology was initially developed by the Bode research group at ETH Zürich and the company was seeded and launched by Versant Ventures at the firm’s Ridgeline Discovery laboratories. Bright Peak is currently funded by leading healthcare investors and is co-located in Basel, Switzerland and San Diego, California.

Our Leadership


Jon Wigginton MD

President of Research and Development

Jon Wigginton serves as our President of Research and Development. He has over 25 years of experience in clinical oncology and most recently served as Senior Advisor and Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board at Cullinan Oncology, Inc., having previously served as the company’s Chief Medical Officer. Prior, Jon was Chief Medical Officer at MacroGenics, where he led the company’s evolution of a fully-integrated clinical-stage cancer immunotherapy organization. Dr. Wigginton also held leadership positions at Bristol Myers Squibb as Therapeutic Area Head and Executive Director, Immuno-Oncology Early Clinical Research and as Group Medical Director of Discovery Medicine-Clinical Oncology. There, he led early clinical development of the BMS Immuno-Oncology portfolio, including checkpoint inhibitors such as anti-PD-1 (Nivolumab)/Opdivo®) and anti-PD-L1 (BMS-936559), checkpoint inhibitor-based combinations including anti-CTLA-4 (Yervoy®)/anti-PD-1 (Opdivo®) among others, and a spectrum of other I-O agents. He also co-founded and co-led the BMS International Immuno-Oncology Network (IION). Dr. Wigginton also previously served as President of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC). Earlier in his career, Dr. Wigginton worked at the National Cancer Institute for 15 years, and served as Head of the Investigational Biologics Section in the Center for Cancer Research (NCI intramural program). There, he demonstrated the initial therapeutic synergy and key mechanisms of action by several novel cytokine-based regimens including IL-2 in combination with IL-18, as well as IL-12 and IL-27 among others. Dr. Wigginton is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Sutro Biopharma. He earned his M.D. and B.S in biology from the University of Michigan.


Andrew Chi MD PhD

Vice President of Clinical Development

Andrew Chi has served as our Vice President of Clinical Development since October 2021.  Andrew is a physician scientist who brings over 15 years of experience in drug development and translational oncology research.  Prior to joining Bright Peak, Andrew served as Executive Medical Director at Mirati Therapeutics where he led the clinical development of adagrasib, advancing adagrasib into multiple registrational trials and achieving FDA breakthrough therapy designation in lung cancer.  Prior to Mirati, Andrew was Senior Medical Director at Neon Therapeutics where he led the personalized neoantigen vaccine and autologous T cell therapy clinical programs prior to Neon’s acquisition by BioNTech. Prior to entering industry, Andrew served as the Director of Neuro-Oncology and Co-Director of the Brain Tumor Center at the NYU School of Medicine and was on the faculty at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital. As a principal investigator he discovered several new therapeutic targets and a diagnostic imaging biomarker in glioblastoma, authored more than 90 peer-reviewed manuscripts, and published several patents. In addition, Andrew continues to serve as a Senior Editor for Clinical Cancer Research. Andrew received his M.D. and Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Chicago Medical School and completed neurology residency in the Harvard Medical School program at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, serving as Chief Resident in his final year. He completed a fellowship in neuro-oncology at Dana Farber Cancer Institute/Mass General Cancer Center and a post-doctoral research fellowship at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.


Sharon Gao PhD

Vice President of Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls (CMC)

Sharon Gao has served as our Vice President of Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls since November 2021. She brings over 20 years of experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries supporting R&D, accelerated CMC development with phase-appropriate strategies, and regulatory filings.  Prior to Bright Peak, Sharon worked at Synthrox, later known as Sanofi San Diego upon the company’s acquisition. At Synthrox/Sanofi, Sharon oversaw CMC analytical and formulation development, drug product manufacturing, GMP test release and stability for the Company’s IL-2 immuno-oncology program. She played a crucial role in correspondences to Health Authorities and actively participated in Type C meetings with FDA. Previously, Sharon was a senior director at La Jolla Pharmaceuticals where she oversaw the analytical development of a peptide drug candidate in Phase 1-2 and supervised QC release and stability for the phase 1 drug product. Sharon also participated in pre-approval inspection for the commercial launch of Giapreza. Before joining La Jolla Pharmaceutical, Sharon was the head of Analytical Chemistry and Quality Control at Quidel (formerly known as Alere Inc.), where she established the GMP testing and quality control facilities and supervised validations to support quality investigations and manufacturing. From 2005-2012, Sharon and her teams assessed the developability of monoclonal antibodies, multi-specific antibodies and pegylated proteins. Sharon received her PhD in Analytical Chemistry from the University of California, San Diego and completed post-doctoral training at Washington University in St Louis.

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.

Dr. Josh Resnick is a Managing Director at RA Capital Management. Dr. Resnick’s primary responsibility at RA Capital is to lead early-stage private investments in and oversee the creation of new companies developing drugs, medical devices, diagnostics and research tools. He has more than 15 years of experience in investing, company formation and company leadership across all stages of drug development, from discovery through commercialization. Dr. Resnick was previously Co-Lead of SV Health Investors’ U.S. biotech practice where he was responsible for SV’s U.S. venture creation activities, including its incubator, Brahma Discovery. Before SV, Dr. Resnick was President and Managing Partner at MRL Ventures Fund, the early-stage therapeutics-focused corporate venture fund within Merck & Co. Prior to MRL Ventures, Dr. Resnick was a Venture Partner with Atlas Venture and a Partner at Prism Venture Partners, focusing on company formation and seed and Series A investing. Dr. Resnick is a faculty member at Harvard Medical School and an attending physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Josh holds a BA in chemistry from Williams College, an MD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.

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

Michael Rosenzweig has more than two decades of experience in immuno-oncology and immunology research in both large pharma and biotech settings and currently serves as an Entrepreneur in Residence at RA Capital. Prior to joining RA, Michael was Associate Vice President at Merck Research Labs. In this position, he played a critical role in building Merck’s oncology pipeline into one of the most robust in cancer immunotherapy, focusing on a modality-agnostic strategy with a broad biology of targets and Keytruda combination strategies. He was also responsible for initiating the transition of the autoimmunity strategy from one based on systemic immunosuppression to a targeted immunomodulation approach. Prior to his time at Merck, Michael held discovery leadership roles at Immunext and Tolerx. Michael earned a DVM at the University of Pretoria and a PhD in Immunology at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Laura Shawver is President, Chief Executive Officer and director of Silverback Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company advancing a pipeline of therapies that are systemically delivered, but locally active and target fundamental disease pathways in cancer, fibrosis and virology. Prior to Silverback, Dr. Shawver was President and CEO of Synthorx, Inc., a company developing engineered cytokines for cancer and autoimmune disorders, from 2017 through its acquisition by Sanofi in 2020 for $2.5B. Previously, she was CEO of Cleave Biosciences and an Entrepreneur in Residence for 5AM Ventures. Earlier in her career Dr. Shawver was the CEO and Director of Phenomix Corporation and President of SUGEN, Inc. after holding various positions. She is the founder of the non-profit organization, The Clearity Foundation, which helps women with ovarian cancer improve their treatment options. In addition to Bright Peak Therapeutics, Dr. Shawver serves on the board of Silverback, Nkarta, Relay and Cleave Therapeutics (Chair). She received her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Iowa.

Ms. Siu brings a strong track record of creating value and integrating financing strategy with corporate development to the Bright Peak board of directors. Ms. Siu is the chief operating officer in-residence at BridgeBio Pharma, Inc, and former chief financial officer at Eidos Therapeutics, Inc., a BridgeBio subsidiary, where she transformed Eidos from a preclinical biotech start-up company to a late-stage clinical public company. Prior to that, she was the chief business officer at The Bluefield Project to Cure Frontotemporal Dementia, where she built a therapeutic pipeline and executed seven collaborations with the pharmaceutical industry. Earlier, she was senior director, corporate development at Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc. (GBT), and before that, a venture principal at Third Rock Ventures, where she was part of the GBT launch team and first employee at GBT. Previously, Ms. Siu invested in life science companies in venture capital and private equity and held roles of increasing responsibility at Warburg Pincus LLC and Thomas, McNerney & Partners, LLC and began her career in healthcare banking at Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. In addition to Bright Peak Therapeutics, Christine also serves on the board of Monte Rosa and Vividion Therapeutics. Ms. Siu holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.S. with distinction in cellular molecular biology and economics from the University of Michigan.

Fredrik Wiklund serves as our President and Chief Executive Officer, having previously served as our Chief Operating Officer since January 2020. Fred brings over 20 years of operational experience with significant breadth of management responsibility with both emerging and large biotechnology companies. Most recently, Fred served as the Chief Operating Officer at Bioniz Therapeutics Inc., a company developing cytokine-based therapies for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases. At Bioniz, Fred negotiated the company’s ~$500M Option and Merger agreement with Almirall S.A. in late 2019. Previously, Fred served as the Vice President of Corporate Development and later as President and Chief Executive Officer of Celladon Corporation (CLDN). Under Fred’s leadership, Celladon completed an IPO in 2014 and merged with Eiger Pharmaceuticals in 2016. Before Celladon, Fred served as Head of Corporate Development and Investor Relations at Tercica Inc. (TRCA) where he guided the company through its IPO and later its ~$650M acquisition by the Ipsen Group in 2009. Earlier, Fred was an investment banker with Lehman Brothers serving in the Healthcare Group based in London, UK.  Fred also spent five years at Gilead Sciences where he helped launch Gilead’s first commercial product in 1996. Fred holds a Bachelor of Arts from University of San Diego and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern California.

Dr. Chacko has served as CEO of ORIC Pharmaceuticals since April 2018. During Dr. Chacko’s tenure, ORIC has raised over $375mm in private and public financing, including its IPO in April 2020, has advanced its lead program into two Phase 1b trials, has in-licensed two additional programs, and is on track to file three INDs/CTAs in 2021. Prior to ORIC, Dr. Chacko was most recently CFO of Ignyta, a Nasdaq-listed precision oncology company acquired by Roche for $1.9 billion in February 2018. At Ignyta, he had a broad operational role and helped raise over $500 million in capital. Prior to Ignyta, Dr. Chacko was an investor at TPG Capital, where he helped lead teams that completed acquisitions having an aggregate value of over $10 billion. Prior to that, he was a consultant serving healthcare clients at McKinsey & Company.

Dr. Chacko currently serves on the board of directors of 4D Molecular Therapeutics (Nasdaq: FDMT) and chairs the Western Regional Selection Committee for the Marshall Scholarship. He previously served on the board of directors of Turning Point Therapeutics (Nasdaq: TPTX), Bonti (acquired by Allergan), EnvisionRx (acquired by Rite Aid), RentPath, and the Packard Children’s Health Alliance at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford; and he was a board observer to Par Pharmaceutical (acquired by Endo), IMS Health and Quintiles Transnational.

Dr. Chacko concurrently received his MD with AOA honors from UCLA and his MBA with Distinction from Harvard Business School. He also received a MSc from Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar and undergraduate degrees from the University of Southern California, where he graduated as the University Valedictorian.

Dr. Leena Gandhi received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and her M.D. from New York University prior to completing postgraduate training at Massachusetts General Hospital and at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. She was a thoracic oncologist working in Early Drug Development at DFCI until 2016 when she moved to NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center to serve as the Director of Thoracic Medical Oncology.  She has focused her research on novel drug development and biomarkers for selection in lung cancer with a particular focus on immuno-oncology. She led pivotal studies demonstrating the utility of PDL1 as a biomarker for efficacy of anti-PD1 agents in lung cancer and studies demonstrating the value of combining immunotherapy and chemotherapy in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. She served as Vice President of Immuno-Oncology Development at Eli Lilly leading the development of novel immuno-oncology agents across cancer types and returned to DFCI in 2020 as the Director of the Center for Cancer Therapeutic Innovation, an integrated clinical/translational research center that brings together specialized cancer expertise to develop and conduct innovative early phase clinical trials spanning multiple malignancies.


Vijaya R. Pattabiraman is a co-founder of Bright peak and serves as Chief Technology Officer. 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 Include