Axel Metzger

Axel Metzger
Medicinal Chemistry, Team Leader

Dr. Axel Metzger graduated from the Technical University of Munich, Germany with a Ph.D. degree in organic chemistry. He completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Texas at Austin in the field of supramolecular chemistry, particularly the application of non-covalent interactions in new sensor systems.

Dr. Metzger started his career in industry in 1997 at Pharmacopeia, Inc. where he designed and synthesized more than 20 large heterocyclic libraries totaling over 1.1 million compounds, producing hit/lead compounds for numerous internal as well as collaborative medicinal chemistry programs. He also was responsible for the design, syntheses, purification and delivery of multiple targeted compound collections both for internal use as well as for delivery to collaborators. In addition, he was involved in quality and purity assessment of Pharmacopeia’s compound collection. Dr. Metzger worked on various hit to lead and lead optimization programs yielding Pharmacopeia’s first compound entering Phase I clinical trials.

He then took a position at Palatin Technologies to lead the high-throughput syntheses group and was responsible for the syntheses of small molecules as well as peptides targeting melanocortin receptors and natriuretic peptide receptor A (NPRA) agonists. In addition, Dr. Metzger gained valuable experience in the biologics field consulting for Advanced Proteome Therapeutics working on selective protein conjugates of small molecule probes to a human protein implicated in apoptosis and cell division.

Throughout his career Dr. Metzger worked successfully on internal and collaborative projects with Novartis, BMS and AstraZeneca resulting in the optimization of various therapeutic molecules including kinase inhibitors, adenosine receptor antagonists, melanocortin-4 and -1 agonists/antagonists and NPRA agonists. Dr. Metzger has published over 20 scientific papers in the areas of drug discovery, combinatorial syntheses, and supramolecular chemistry and is a co-inventor of 11 patents in the field of drug discovery.