Elion Therapeutics was founded on the understanding that mechanistic insights enable the targeted optimization of natural products. This conviction is at the core of our discovery and clinical development of SF001.

Our story

Elion Therapeutics was born from a dedication to collaboration. It started with a team effort at Dr Martin Burke’s laboratory at the University of Illinois, where the sterol sponge model was discovered. Partnership with Dr Chad Rienstra’s laboratory at the University of Wisconsin led to design of the novel polyene molecule Sfu-AM2-19A, the active component of SF001. In 2022, Dr Kieren Marr—a physician, academic advisor, and renowned expert in clinical mycology—joined as Chief Medical Officer and co-founder of Sfunga Therapeutics (now  Elion Therapeutics), a collaborative venture with Deerfield Management and Illinois Ventures, with the goal of bringing SF001 to market. In 2023, Sfunga became Elion Therapeutics. Throughout our history, our mission has remained the same: to help fulfill a vast unmet need for physicians and patients facing the threat of invasive fungal infections (IFIs).

Elion Therapeutics was named in honor of the Nobel Prize winner Gertrude B. Elion (1918-1999), a pioneer in rational drug design versus a trial-and-error approach.  She and her colleagues developed multiple important anti-infective drugs.  Her scientific dedication and legacy provide enduring inspiration to this day.