Lutz Weber, CEO
Morphochem AG uses chemical genomics to discover and develop next-generation therapeutics for major disease areas. It has integrated novel chemistries with biological screening using custom informatics tools into a discovery and optimization engine to deliver not only validated targets, but small-molecule drug candidates at the same time.
The company has focused drug discovery efforts on protein-protein interactions, a class of biological targets with potential for innovation in finding novel drug candidates, novel antibiotics, proteases and kinases.
Morphochem has two drug candidates in preclinical development. Factor Xa inhibitors for treatment of thromboembolic disorders are expected to enter clinical trials in the third quarter of 2002, the company said. Other drugs in preclinical development are related to inflammatory diseases. Anti-infective candidates were nearing preclinical development.
Formerly named Morphochem GmbH, the company was spun out from the Department of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry at the Technical University of Munich in 1996 and was renamed Morphochem AG in 1998. In March 2000, Morphochem acquired Small Molecule Therapeutics Inc., creating a fully integrated drug discovery engine. The subsidiary, Morphochem Inc., operates from premises in Monmouth Junction, N.J. In September 2000, Morphochem opened a subsidiary in Basel, Switzerland, working on drug discovery of novel anti-infectives.
Small molecule discovery and development partnership: Automated Cell Inc.
Discovery and development of novel drug candidates for Type II diabetes and cancer: Sequenom Inc.
Research and development collaboration in diabetes: Aventis Pharma AG.
Research agreement to optimize a lead anticancer drug candidate: Sosei Co. Ltd.
Strategic alliance for collaborations to discover and develop novel therapeutics: Synt:em.
Morphochem also has collaborations with the Institute of Plant Biochemistry in Halle, the Ludwigs-Maximilians University in Munich, the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, and the Hahn Schikard Gesellschaft Institute for Mikro- and Informationtechnique in Villingen-Schwenningen.