board of directors
Gustav Christensen, MBA

Gustav Christensen, MBA 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.

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TL1A and IL-23

Morphic is leveraging its structural biology expertise and medicinal chemistry capabilities to develop small molecule therapeutic candidates against non-integrin targets including TL1-A and IL-23. Inhibition of these pathways have potential as treatments for IBD through monotherapy and possibly in combination with other IBD treatment mechanisms including α4β7 inhibition.

α5β1

Morphic is developing small molecule inhibitors of the integrin α5β1 based on research demonstrating that fibronectin integrin inhibition suppresses pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cell proliferation. Potential indications include severe pulmonary hypertensive disease including pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Integrin Partnership: Janssen

Morphic entered a research partnership with Janssen in 2019 to discover inhibitors of undisclosed integrin targets. In 2021, this partnership was expanded to include an antibody activator of an integrin target, extending the application of Morphic’s knowledge of integrin biology into modalities beyond small molecules. The antibody activator program is the focus of our collaboration with Janssen today.

Undisclosed Targets

Morphic is leveraging the MInT Platform to discover therapeutically relevant small molecule inhibitors of targets across the integrin family to treat autoimmune diseases, cancer and fibrotic diseases.

Undisclosed Target for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

Morphic is deploying the MInT Platform to create small molecule inhibitors of an undisclosed integrin target for evaluation as a potential treatment for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). PAH is a devastating, usually fatal disease characterized by elevated mean pressures in the pulmonary artery and associated with lung and heart dysfunction. Morphic’s PAH program is in preclinical development.

αvβ8 (MORF-088)

Morphic is developing small molecule inhibitors of the integrin αvβ8 for potential uses in myelofibrosis and a combination immuno-oncology approach for the treatment of solid tumors. αvβ8 is known to activate selective isoforms of TGF-β and Morphic has demonstrated that αvβ8 inhibition can drive increased platelet production and potentiate immune checkpoint blockade and potentially drive responses in checkpoint refractory tumors. Morphic’s αvβ8 inhibitors are in preclinical development.

Next Gen α4β7 Inhibitors

Morphic is developing a family of next generation α4β7 small molecule inhibitors with enhanced attributes using the MInT Platform. These candidates have distinct chemical properties from our first-generation inhibitors with differentiated selectivity, potency, and pharmacokinetic profiles. Morphic’s next generation α4β7 inhibitors are currently in preclinical development.