clinical advisory board
Brian G. Feagan, MD, FRCPC

Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Western University
Senior Scientific Director, Alimentiv Inc.

Dr. Brian G. Feagan completed a medical degree at the University of Western Ontario (Western University) in London, Ontario, Canada. His postdoctoral training included a residency in Internal Medicine and a clinical fellowship in Gastroenterology in the Department of Medicine at UWO, and postgraduate training in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. A Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, he holds membership in the Canadian and American Association of Gastroenterology, the American College of Gastroenterology, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada (CCC) and European Crohn’s and Colitis Organization (ECCO).

Dr. Feagan has authored over 500 articles and book chapters and has given close to 1000 invited presentations at local, national and international scientific meetings. In 1997, Dr. Feagan became Director of Robarts Clinical Trials at the Robarts Research Institute, University of Western Ontario and in 2020, he became Senior Scientific Director of Alimentiv Inc.(formerly Robarts Clinical Trials) His research efforts focus on the design and implementation of randomized controlled trials of therapy for inflammatory bowel disease. He has been the principal investigator on numerous large-scale randomized clinical trials.

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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.