P037 Nonclinical pharmacokinetics and absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion properties of MORF-057 support its clinical development as an oral selective α4β7 integrin inhibitor

Jones, J.(1);Lee, D.(1);Smukste, I.(1);Cui, D.(1);Bursavich, M.G.(2);Troast, D.(2);Zhong, C.(2);Wong , J.E.(3);Mangada, M.M.(3);Bain, G.(3);Lippa, B.(2);Ray, A.S.(3);Rogers, B.N.(4);

(1)Morphic Therapeutic, Dmpk, Waltham, United States;(2)Morphic Therapeutic, Molecular Discovery, Waltham, United States;(3)Morphic Therapeutic, Biology and Translation, Waltham, United States;(4)Morphic Therapeutic, Research, Waltham, United States


MORF-057 is a potent and selective small molecule inhibitor of the α4β7 integrin. Using a receptor occupancy (RO) assay under physiologically relevant conditions, MORF-057 achieves 90% α4β7 RO at approximately 10 nM in human whole blood. The current studies evaluate nonclinical pharmacokinetics (PK) and properties of absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) to enable dose/exposure projection to humans.


PK studies were conducted in mouse, rat, dog, and monkey following intravenous (IV) and oral administration. ADME studies were conducted in vitro and in rats using carbon-14 [14C] labeled MORF-057. MORF-057 levels were quantified using liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry. Human PK was predicted based on body weight allometry, well-stirred and semi‑physiological models.


MORF-057 exhibited low to moderate clearance (CL) in animals with species dependent volume of distribution (Vdss) resulting in half-lives of 1.1 to 2.7 hours (Table 1). Following an oral dose, absorption was high with bioavailability ranging from 15% to 49%. MORF-057 is highly protein bound and distribution of [14C]MORF-057 derived radioactivity in rat was predominantly in the small intestine wall, liver, and stomach wall.  Rifampin, an inhibitor of organic anion transporting polypeptides, decreased MORF-057 clearance by 3-fold in monkeys suggesting MORF-057 elimination involves hepatic uptake transport. MORF-057 is further cleared via CYP3A metabolism followed by biliary/fecal elimination of metabolites. MORF-057 is predicted to have moderate bioavailability (40%) and CL (6.5 mL/min/kg) in humans. Wajima transformation shows good agreement of the normalized PK across animal species, with a predicted human concentration-time profile supporting >90% α4β7 RO at trough following 200 mg twice daily dose (Figure 1). 


These data demonstrate that MORF-057 is well absorbed and PK properties in animals support the potential for achieving high α4β7 RO following oral administration in humans.  These nonclinical results provided a basis for the progression of MORF-057 into a first-in-human Phase 1 clinical study assessing safety, pharmacokinetics, and receptor occupancy (results being reported separately).