James Balkovec, Ph.D.
Dr. Balkovec is a highly accomplished medicinal chemist, with over 30 years of experience in the field of drug discovery. With an extensive leadership background, he has successfully led both internal and external chemistry teams across various therapeutic areas. Notably, he has guided multidisciplinary project teams encompassing chemistry, structural biology, biology, microbiology, pharmacology, DMPK, toxicology, and CMC.
Dr. Balkovec boasts an impressive track record, with numerous publications and patents. His notable contributions include inventing the first-in-class antifungal agent, Cancidas®, as well as leading the team responsible for discovering BrexaFemme®, an oral drug for vulvovaginal candidiasis. Additionally, his team made significant contributions to the development of the recently approved once-weekly antifungal treatment, Rezzayo®, and co-invented a groundbreaking biologic that promises to be a "universal" treatment for seasonal and pandemic influenza, currently in clinical trials.
Having worked extensively as a laboratory scientist and program director, Dr Balkovec has demonstrated expertise in various domains, including small molecules, natural products, proteins, large molecules, and biologics. His breadth of experience encompasses organic synthesis, structural analysis, QSAR, enzyme and receptor assays, cell-based assays, animal models of disease, pharmacology, DMPK, toxicology, and related disciplines crucial for identifying and optimizing high-quality leads for development.
Currently, Dr. Balkovec is engaged in multiple programs aimed at developing novel drugs in the areas of antibacterial (Center for Translational Excellence), antifungal, antiviral (Metropolitan Antiviral Drug Accelerator), pain, and cancer therapeutics. Through his work, Dr. Balkovec seeks to improve the landscape of infectious disease treatment.