Bright Angel combines the expertise of world-renowned mycology experts with Schrödinger’s cutting-edge computational technology to develop innovative therapeutics for the treatment of invasive fungal infections. This nascent company addresses a serious unmet medical need. Fungal infections result in more than 1.5 million deaths per year. Immunocompromised individuals are the most vulnerable, and ~90% of all deaths are attributable to species of Candida, Cryptococcus, and Aspergillus. Only three classes of therapeutics are effective in treating fungal infections: azoles, polyenes, and echinocandins. Resistance to each class is observed clinically and increasing at an alarming rate. We have discovered novel strategies to treat fungal infections by targeting drug resistance mechanisms, thereby transforming existing antifungals from ineffective to highly efficacious against all of the leading fungal pathogens. Our strategy is to increase efficacy of current treatments and to eradicate drug resistance by targeting the stress responses required by fungi for survival, virulence and drug resistance. Inhibitors of stress mechanisms will be used in combination with azole therapy to increase efficacy and abolish resistance. Lead optimization efforts will be guided by the use of best-in-class computational modeling tools from Schrödinger. Targeting stress response pathways would be first in class for antifungal drug development.
Leah E. Cowen, PhD
Professor & Chair of Molecular Genetics, Bright Angel Co-Founder & Scientific Advisor
Luke Whitesell, MD
Research Scientist, Whitehead Institute, Bright Angel Co-Founder & Scientific Advisor
Melissa Landon, PhD
Director of Business Development Schrodinger, Bright Angel, Director of Collaborations
Tanvi Shekhar-Guturja, PhD