About Us

An Integrin Medicines Leader

Morphic Therapeutic is leading the development of a new generation of oral integrin drugs, informed by decades of world-leading expertise and a unique integrin discovery platform. Morphic believes oral drugs targeting the integrin protein family can transform the treatment paradigm for patients suffering from serious chronic diseases, including autoimmune, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, as well as fibrosis and cancer.

A platform company supported by major partnerships

Morphic’s proprietary MInT drug discovery platform combines an expert understanding of integrin dynamics and analytical capabilities with foundational structural biology insights and ongoing input from the Springer laboratory, the long-term integrin research leader.

Morphic has established strategic partnerships which have dramatically expanded the scope of its discovery activity, potential pipeline breadth, and growth of its internal capabilities.

In 2018 Morphic announced a multi-program collaboration with AbbVie focused on fibrotic diseases, with Morphic retaining economic rights in the major area of liver fibrosis. In 2019, Morphic entered into a collaboration with Janssen covering several undisclosed programs including a mode of action and integrins not previously part of Morphic’s discovery efforts.

An amazing team

The Morphic team foster a high-performing, compassionate culture focused on scientific excellence, close collaboration with partners, authenticity and a determination to deliver an entirely new class of therapies for the many people who need them.

Praveen Tipirneni, MD is President and CEO of Morphic Therapeutic Inc.  Previously, he was Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Global Strategy at Cubist Pharmaceuticals, a position in which he served from 2002 until the company’s acquisition by Merck in 2015. In his time at Cubist, he was a member of the clinical group working on the Cubicin NDA (skin and skin structure infections) and sNDA (Staph. Bacteremia and Endocarditis) teams. He was head of business development since January 2006. Prior to joining Cubist, Dr. Tipirneni worked at Sun Microsystems in corporate strategy, Covad Communications in Corporate Strategy, and Deltagen in business development. He also served time as a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Dr. Tipirneni received a bachelor’s degree from MIT in mechanical engineering and an M. D. from McGill University. After completing his post-graduate residency in Internal Medicine at University of Illinois, Chicago, he received his MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business in healthcare finance.

Bruce Rogers, PhD is Chief Scientific Officer at Morphic Therapeutic Inc. He brings over 20 years of drug discovery experience across pre-clinical and early stage clinical development programs, medicinal chemistry, biology, partnering and R&D strategy. He was most recently the Head of Neuro-Opportunities at Pfizer, where he led a team focused on entrepreneurial approaches to long standing CNS biology challenges, including direct brain delivery of protein therapeutics for PD and oncology approaches. Bruce spent 16 years in positions of increasing responsibility within the medicinal chemistry organization at Pfizer and Pharmacia, and during his time there led multiple discovery and early clinical development teams, with his group advancing over a dozen small molecule candidates into clinical trials for a broad range of neuroscience indications. Bruce has co-authored more than 50 scientific publications, reviews and abstracts and is a co-inventor on over 40 patents and patent applications. He holds a BA in chemistry from the University of Minnesota, a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of California at Irvine. He was a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow at the University of California prior to joining the pharmaceutical industry.

Blaise Lippa, PhD is the Senior Vice President of Molecular Discovery at Morphic Therapeutic Inc. He was employee number two at the company, and a part of the initial company formation in June 2015. Prior to this, Blaise was a Senior Director of Medicinal Chemistry at Cubist Pharmaceuticals from 2008 to 2015, with a focus on antibacterials, pain and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). At Cubist, he led teams that advanced multiple compounds to the clinic, and served on a development team that achieved an NDA prior to the purchase of the company by Merck. Blaise began his career in medicinal chemistry at Pfizer in 1999. He conducted advanced drug design in multiple therapeutic indications, including oncology, antibacterials and metabolic diseases. At Pfizer, Blaise was successful in advancing multiple compounds to clinical study, including an oncology therapy currently in a phase 2 trial. Blaise obtained dual B.Sc. degrees in chemistry and molecular biology from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1995, and his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1999 while working with Professor Paul Wender. Blaise is an author of over 60 publications and patents.

Adrian S. Ray, PhD is the Senior Vice President and Head of Biology and Translation at Morphic Therapeutic Inc. Adrian has broad experience from target selection to registrational filing. He was previously at Gilead Sciences where over the past 15 years he held positions of increasing responsibility in research and development, serving most recently as Senior Director Clinical Research. He has directly contributed to advancing more than six new chemical entities targeting antiviral, inflammation and oncology indications to IND filing and clinical proof-of-concept. He was a member of the teams responsible for the successful worldwide registrational filings for sofosbuvir, tenofovir alafenamide and their respective fixed-dose combinations. Adrian worked on business development to drive innovation, including playing a role in the acquisition of Pharmasset in 2011 and Nimbus Apollo in 2016. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers and is an inventor on 27 U.S.-granted patents and numerous international filings. Adrian was honored with the William H. Prusoff Young Investigator Lecture Award by the International Society of Antiviral Research in 2014. Adrian graduated with highest honors from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a BA in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and received his PhD for his work in the Pharmacology Department at Yale University.

Robert E. Farrell Jr., CPA is the Senior Vice President of Finance/Operations and Chief Accounting Officer at Morphic Therapeutic Inc. and was part of the initial company formation in June 2015. Prior to joining Morphic Therapeutic, he served as Vice President of Finance and Administration and Treasurer of Genocea Biosciences from 2009 to 2015. Before that, he held senior level financial positions at Oscient Pharmaceuticals, Magen Biosciences and NeoGenesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he directed companies through multiple private financings, acquisitions and several public offerings. Mr. Farrell is a licensed certified public accountant and holds a B.S. degree in accounting from Bentley University.

William DeVaul is General Counsel and Secretary at Morphic Therapeutic. Bill brings more than two decades of experience as an attorney for public and private biopharma companies. Most recently, as Evelo Biosciences attorney, Bill was responsible for Evelo’s legal activities and intellectual property development and helped Evelo through an initial public offering in May 2018. Prior to Evelo, he represented Cubist Pharmaceuticals for 11 years up to its acquisition by Merck for $10B. Among his responsibilities as an attorney at Cubist, Bill led numerous licensing and collaboration deals, including public company acquisitions. Prior to Cubist, Bill practiced as an attorney at law firms in Boston and New York. Bill earned a law degree from Boston University School of Law and an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from Columbia University.

Bill Devaul

Peter G. Linde, MD is Chief Medical Officer at Morphic Therapeutic Inc. Dr. Linde brings more than 15 years of experience in pharmaceutical clinical development and research across the therapeutic areas of inflammatory, pulmonary and hematologic diseases. Most recently he served as the Vice President of Medical Research at Acceleron Pharma, Inc., where he led study design and development for a Phase 2 trial of sotatercept in pulmonary arterial hypertension, as well as late-stage development work on luspatercept, which in 2019 won FDA approval for treatment of transfusion dependent patients with beta-thalassemia. Prior to this role, Dr. Linde was a Project Leader in Clinical Asset Development at AbbVie, Inc. and Senior Director of Clinical Development at FibroGen, Inc. Dr. Linde completed medical school at Stanford University and spent approximately 10 years as a practicing clinician and clinical instructor. Dr. Linde earned his bachelor’s degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in both chemical engineering as well as applied biology.

Marc Schegerin, MD, is Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Morphic. Dr. Schegerin has extensive experience in the biotechnology space spanning clinical and business development, strategy, finance and operations. Dr. Schegerin also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SQZ Biotech, a publicly traded company developing cell therapies for cancer and other diseases. Most recently, Dr. Schegerin served as chief financial officer, treasurer and head of strategy & communications at ArQule, an oncology-focused drug developer, until its acquisition by Merck. Prior to this role, Dr. Schegerin served in various senior healthcare investment banking roles at CitiGroup and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Dr. Schegerin has also held industry management roles at Biogen and Sage Therapeutics and began his career in the healthcare group at Goldman Sachs. Dr. Schegerin earned his MD from Dartmouth Medical School and MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and undergraduate degrees in premedical studies from Harvard University and finance from Tulane University.

Gustav Christensen was President and CEO of Dyax Corp (NASDAQ: DYAX) from January 1, 2009 until it was acquired by Shire for $6.5 billion in January 2016. He joined Dyax early 2007 as EVP and Chief Business Officer.

Mr. Christensen realigned and evolved Dyax from a broad based R&D company to a focused fully integrated biopharmaceutical company. The Company marketed KALBITOR®for the treatment of acute attacks of hereditary angioedema (HAE) and was developing DX-2930, a fully human monoclonal antibody inhibitor of plasma kallikrein, as a subcutaneous injection for the prevention of HAE attacks. Dyax also had an evolving pipeline of fully human monoclonal antibody drug candidates with potential to address various orphan diseases. Dyax has broadly licensed its phage display technology and is eligible to receive royalties from a portfolio of products and product candidates being marketed and developed by its licensees. Mr. Christensen began his career at Baxter International, where he held positions of increasing responsibilities both in the international and domestic businesses – his last position being Vice President of Operations of the Fenwal Laboratories division. He left in 1983 to become the Vice President of Business Development at Genetics Institute from 1983 to 1988. Additionally, he has been the CEO, Chairman or a Director of several private and public biotechnology companies. Mr. Christensen was also a founding investor in Diatide, acquired by Schering AG for $140 mill, Phase Forward acquired by Oracle for $700 mill and Geltex Pharmaceuticals acquired by Genzyme for $1 bill. Mr. Christensen received his Master of Science in Economics from the University of Aarhus, Denmark and his Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

Timothy Springer, PhD, Founder, Morphic Therapeutic is Latham Family Professor at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Medicine at Children’s Hospital Boston.

Tim Springer, Ph.D. – an immunologist and biophysicist serving as Latham Family Professor at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital – discovered integrins and their ligands in the 1980s and since then, has worked on elucidating regulation of their biological function. His pioneering work resulted in the detailed characterization of integrin structure and robust understanding of biophysical phenomena underlying their activation. This has led to the founding of multiple biotechnology companies (LeukoSite , Scholar Rock, Morphic Therapeutic) and approved therapeutics including Amevive®, Raptiva®, Campath®, Velcade®, and Entyvio®). Morphic Therapeutics Inc., capitalizes on his 15 years of study of the molecular mode of action underlying unproductive interactions between small-molecule drugs and their integrin targets in the disease tissue. These findings make possible small molecule antagonists which reverse their activation by preventing them from occupying disease-specific signaling and conformational states. Tim is a member of Morphic Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Board and provides strategic guidance to all research and development activities of Morphic Therapeutic.

Norbert Bischofberger, Ph.D. has served as a member of our board of directors since June 2019. Dr. Bischofberger has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Kronos Bio, Inc., a biotechnology company, since August 2018. From August 1990 to August 2018, Dr. Bischofberger held various positions at Gilead Sciences, a biopharmaceutical company, and most recently served Gilead as Executive Vice President, Research and Development and Chief Scientific Officer. Prior to Gilead, Dr. Bischofberger served as a Senior Scientist in the DNA Synthesis group at Genentech, Inc., a biotechnology company, from 1986 to 1990. Dr. Bischofberger received a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule in Zurich, Switzerland and an M.S. in Chemistry from the University of Innsbruck.

Martin Edwards has served as a member of our Board since December 2020 and also serves as a Director of several additional public biotechnology companies.

Dr. Edwards is currently Chairman of KalVista Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and a member of the Board of Directors of Reata Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Verona Pharma PLC, and Inozyme Pharma, Inc. He retired as Senior Partner at Novo Holdings A/S. Prior to joining Novo Holdings A/S, Dr. Edwards was the Chief Executive Officer of ReNeuron Holdings. Prior to ReNeuron Holdings, Dr. Edwards was Corporate Vice President and Head of Drug Development for Novo Nordisk A/S, where he was responsible for all aspects of pre-clinical and clinical drug development. Earlier, he worked as Vice President Pharmacology and Medical Affairs of ZymoGenetics Inc. and then as Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs at Novo Nordisk USA. Dr. Edwards trained in physiology and medicine in Manchester, UK. He was elected as a Member of the Royal Colleges of Physicians, a Member with distinction of the Royal College of General Practitioners, a Fellow of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine and holds an MBA from the University of Warwick.

Susannah Gray was executive vice president and chief financial officer at Royalty Pharma from 2005-2019

Susannah Gray is a leader in healthcare finance and strategy with three decades of experience in capital formation, operational management, healthcare asset monetization, investment research and strategy implementation.  Ms. Gray was most recently executive vice president and chief financial officer at Royalty Pharma. Prior to Royalty Pharma, she served as managing director of fixed income research at CIBC World Markets and held positions of increasing leadership at Chase Securities and Merrill Lynch. Susannah Gray holds a BA from Wesleyan University and an MBA from Columbia University Business School. Ms. Gray is a member of the board of directors of corporate and non-profit institutions including Morphic Therapeutic, 4D Molecular Therapeutics, Maravai Life Sciences, Wesleyan University, Susan G. Komen Foundation and StreetSquash.

Nilesh Kumar, PhD joined Novo Ventures (US) Inc. in Boston in 2015.

Prior to joining Novo, Nilesh was Senior Director at MS Ventures where he invested in early stage life science companies. Nilesh led the initial investments and served on the Boards of Auxogyn, Canbex, f-Star, Raze Therapeutics, RaNA Therapeutics, Padlock Therapeutics and TocopheRx. In addition to his venture investment role, Nilesh has successfully led several strategic licensing transactions at Merck Serono in oncology and autoimmune therapeutic areas.

Nilesh received his PhD from the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University. He holds an MBA from Harvard University, and did his undergraduate degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge, UK.

Amir Nashat is a Partner in Polaris’ Boston office. He joined Polaris in 2002 and focuses on investments in healthcare.

Amir currently represents Polaris as a Director of AgBiome, aTyr Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: LIFE), Fate Therapeutics (NASDAQ: FATE), Jnana Therapeutics, Marauder Therapeutics, Metacrine Therapeutics, Morphic Therapeutic, Olivo Labs, Promedior Pharmaceuticals, Scholar Rock, Selecta Biosciences (NASDAQ: SELB), Sofregen Medical, Syros Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SYRS) and TARIS Biomedical.

Prior to joining Polaris, Amir completed his PhD as a Hertz Fellow in Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a minor in Biology under the guidance of Dr. Robert Langer. Amir also earned both his MS and BS in Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. He has been named to the Forbes Midas List of “Top 100 Venture Capitalists.”

Joseph P. Slattery, CPA has served as a member of our board of directors since May 2019. From October 2013 to December 2019, Mr. Slattery served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of TransEnterix, Inc., a medical device company. Mr. Slattery served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Baxano Surgical Inc., a minimally invasive spinal surgery company, from April 2010 to September 2013. From February 1996 to August 2007, Mr. Slattery served in finance and accounting roles including Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Finance and Information Systems of Digene Corp., a molecular diagnostics company acquired by Qiagen, N.V. in 2007. Currently, Mr. Slattery serves on the boards of directors of Replimune Group, Inc. and certain private companies. Mr. Slattery earned a B.S. in Accounting from Bentley University and is a certified public accountant. We believe that Mr. Slattery is qualified to serve on our board of directors due to his extensive finance and business experience in the life sciences industry.

Praveen Tipirneni, MD currently serves as President and CEO, Morphic Therapeutic.

Previously, he was Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Global Strategy at Cubist Pharmaceuticals from 2002 until the ~$10 billion acquisition by Merck in 2015. In his time at Cubist, he has served in the Clinical group working on the Cubicin NDA (skin and skin structure infections) and sNDA (Staph. Bacteremia and Endocarditis) teams. He has been head of Business Development since January 2006. Prior to joining Cubist, Dr. Tipirneni worked at Sun Microsystems in Corporate Strategy, Covad Communications in Corporate Strategy, and Deltagen, in Business Development and also served time as 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Dr. Tipirneni received a bachelor’s degree from MIT in Mechanical Engineering, an M.D. from McGill University. After completing his post-graduate residency in Internal Medicine at University of Illinois, Chicago, he received his MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business in healthcare finance.

Timothy Springer, PhD, Founder, Morphic Therapeutic

Latham Family Professor at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Medicine at Children’s Hospital Boston.

For more information: https://proteininnovation.org/springer-bio.

Tim Springer, Ph.D. – an immunologist and biophysicist serving as Latham Family Professor at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital – discovered integrins and their ligands in the 1980s and since then, has worked on elucidating regulation of their biological function. His pioneering work resulted in the detailed characterization of integrin structure and robust understanding of biophysical phenomena underlying their activation. This has led to the founding of multiple biotechnology companies (LeukoSite , Scholar Rock, Morphic Therapeutic) and approved therapeutics including Amevive®, Raptiva®, Campath®, Velcade®, and Entyvio®). Morphic Therapeutics Inc., capitalizes on his 15 years of study of the molecular mode of action underlying unproductive interactions between small-molecule drugs and their integrin targets in the disease tissue. These findings make possible small molecule antagonists which reverse their activation by preventing them from occupying disease-specific signaling and conformational states. Tim is a member of Morphic Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Board and provides strategic guidance to all research and development activities of Morphic Therapeutic.

Ulrich Von Andrian, MD, PhD

Mallinckrodt Professor of Immunopathology at Harvard Medical School.

For more information: http://vonandrian.hms.harvard.edu/About%202014.html

Ulrich H. von Andrian, M.D. received his M.D. from Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany. He did postdoctoral work at the La Jolla Institute for Experimental Medicine and, subsequently, at Stanford University in California. He then went on to Harvard in 1994 as an Assistant Professor of Pathology at HMS, and was Senior Investigator at the CBR Institute for Biomedical Research (now called The Immune Disease Institute or IDI). He is currently the Edward Mallinckrodt Jr. Professor of Immunopathology at Harvard Medical School. Uli is a member of the European Academy of Sciences and several professional societies from which he received professional awards for outstanding research. These include the Amgen Outstanding Investigator Award (ASIP, 2004), the Henry Pickering Bowditch Award (APS, 2006), the BD Biosciences Investigator Award (AAI,2007) and the Eugene Landis Award (MCS, 2010).

Albert Robichaud, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer of Sage Therapeutics

For more information: http://sagerx.com/ourteam.php

Albert Robichaud joined SAGE as CSO in 2011, with more than 20 years of drug discovery experience focused primarily in the neuroscience arena. Most recently, he was Vice President of Chemistry and Pharmacokinetic Sciences at Lundbeck USA, where he was responsible for the drug discovery, analytical, computational and pharmacokinetics departments focused on synaptic transmission and neuroinflammation. Prior to Lundbeck, Al was Senior Director and Head of the Neuroscience Discovery Chemistry Department of Wyeth Research. During his tenure there, his group successfully delivered more than 15 drug candidates into clinical development in a broad range of neuroscience indications. Al has co-authored more than 125 manuscripts and abstracts, and is a co-inventor on 50 patents and patent applications. Heholds a B.S. in chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of California, Irvine and was an American Chemical Society postdoctoral fellow at Colorado State University.

Shelia Violette, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer, Admirx

Dr. Violette was previously Vice President of Tissue Injury and Fibrosis Research at Biogen where she spearheaded a team of scientists conducting discovery research and developing translational approaches to advance programs into clinical development. From 2008 to 2012, Dr. Violette was Vice President of Research at Stromedix and led all research activities supporting the development of the αvβ6 antibody, STX-100. Dr. Violette has more than 20 years of industry experience advancing programs from early research to clinical development. She has provided strategic and operational leadership to multi-disciplinary teams of scientists and authored more than 90 manuscripts and patents. Dr. Violette has directed research and led therapeutic programs at several biotechnology companies including Repligen, Ariad, Stromedix and Biogen. She is currently Chief Scientific Officer, Admirx, Cambridge, MA. Dr. Violette received her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Yale University and carried out her post-doctoral training in the Department of Biology at Yale University.

Scott L. Friedman, MD

Dean for Therapeutic Discovery and Chief of the Division of Liver Diseases, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

For more information: http://labs.icahn.mssm.edu/friedmanlab/

Dr. Friedman is Chief of Liver Diseases and Dean for Therapeutic Discovery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. His pioneering research in hepatic fibrosis supported by NIH since 1986, combined with mentoring of over 80 trainees have contributed to the emergence of fibrosis as an exciting new therapeutic area in hepatology. Dr. Friedman was a Senior Fulbright Scholar at the Weizmann Institute, Israel in 1995 and President of the AASLD in 2009. He has received the International Hans Popper and the EASL International Recognition Awards, and is a Fellow of the AASLD, AGA, ACP and AAAS.

Yury Popov, MD, PhD

Director of Liver Research, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School

Yury V. Popov received an M.D. (1997) from Grodno State Medical School, Belarus and PhD in Biochemistry (2004) from Institute of Biochemistry of National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. He became the first scientist from Eastern Europe to win the prestigious Sheila Sherlock EASL fellowship award to pursue postdoctoral training in translational liver fibrosis research at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany. In 2005, Dr. Popov relocated to USA to join faculty at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Popov is currently directing a Liver Fibrosis Research Lab and Core and holding an appointment of Assistant Professor of Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School. He is also an Associate Editor of American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, and ad hoc reviewer for over 30 scientific journals. Dr. Yury Popov’s laboratory’s major research focus is on liver fibrosis/cirrhosis and its life-threatening sequelae. Specifically, his team investigates the basic mechanisms of progression and regression of liver scarring, with the goal of the development of non-invasive diagnostic tools to measure these processes in the clinic, and novel therapies to prevent and reverse cirrhosis and its lifethreatening complications such as primary liver cancers.

Miriam Merad, MD, PhD

Professor Oncological Sciences, Professor Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai For more information:

https://icahn.mssm.edu/profiles/miriam-merad

Miriam Merad is the Mount Sinai Endowed professor in Cancer Immunology and the Director of the Precision Immunology Institute at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. Dr. Merad also co-leads the Cancer Immunology program at The Mount Sinai Tisch Cancer Institute and is the Director of the Mount Sinai Human Immune Monitoring Center (HIMC). Dr. Merad’s laboratory made seminal discoveries to our understanding of the mechanisms that control the development and functional identity of tissue resident dendritic cells and macrophages during homeostasis, and examining how these regulations are changed in cancer and inflammatory diseases. Dr. Merad has authored more than 170 primary papers and reviews in high profile journals. She receives generous funding from the NIH for her research on innate immunity and their contribution to human disease and belongs to several NIH consortia. In 2018, Dr. Merad received the prestigious William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Tumor Immunology. She is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and lectures around the world on her work