leadership team
Jeff Handler, PhD, DABT, MBA
Vice President, Safety Assessment

Jeff Handler, PhD, DABT, MBA is the Vice President of Safety Assessment at Morphic Therapeutic Inc. He brings over 30 years of drug and medical device development experience ranging from pre-clinical and early-stage compounds through support of marketed products in a variety of therapeutic areas. Before joining Morphic he was a consultant for more than 9 years, helping companies that ranged from start-ups to leading pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers with assistance in toxicology, ADME, project management, CMC and regulatory affairs.

Jeff has also served as Vice President of R&D for Dermik Laboratories/Sanofi Aventis Dermatology, and Vice President of Drug Development for Melior Discovery. He has co-authored more than 60 peer-reviewed publications, abstracts and book chapters, and holds a BS in Biology from Cook College/Rutgers University, a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an MBA from Villanova University. Jeff is also a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology.

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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.


Morphic is developing small molecule inhibitors of the integrin αvβ8 through a combination immuno-oncology approach for the treatment of solid tumors as well as potential additional indications. αvβ8 is known to activate selective isoforms of TGF-β and Morphic has demonstrated that αvβ8 inhibition can 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.