Employees overview – University of Copenhagen

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Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research > Employees

Thomas Michael Frimurer

Thomas Michael Frimurer

Associate Professor

Member of:

  • Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research

Current Position

Associate professor and group leader, The Novo Nordisk Foundation Centre for Basic Metabolic Research, Section for Metabolic Receptology and Enteroendocrinology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen (www.metabol.ku.dk).

Current research

Dr. Frimurer, who has 15+ years of experience with structure-based chemical design technologies in academia and Pharma/Biotech, is head of a group focusing at Chemical and Molecular Receptology (computational chemistry). 

Computational Receptology and Chemical Design - A major research focus is the development of advanced technologies for structure based drug discovery and optimization, structural chemical genomics and protein modeling - in particularly modeling of alternative functional states of structurally uncharacterized members of proteins and 7TM, G protein-couple receptors (GPCRs). An overall research goal is to apply these technologies to understand the molecular basis for activation and in-activation of GPCRs.

Development of an innovative chemogenomics-based drug discovery platform- for structure- and knowledge-based discovery of small molecules that can be developed as suitable pharmacological tool compounds to characterize the basic physiological functions of receptors in endocrinology and metabolism. A 1st generation “Site Directed Drug Discovery” platform (SD3™) was originally developed by Dr. Frimurer in the biotech industry were it was used to identify chemical lead structures and drug candidates in more than a dozen of drug discovery programs, many of them patented and progressed in clinical development for treatment of metabolic disorders, obesity, inflammation and pain. The financial value of this technology was realized through trade sale to big pharma companies who also purchased several advanced drug discovery projects that had benefited from SD3™. It has furthermore been subject to manage hits and lead identification and optimization strategies in several strong collaborations with key players in Biotech and big Pharma companies. Recently the technology has been transferred and optimized for the academic setting. 

Proof of concept for identification/development in the academic setting of potent, selective and oral available ligands for orphan GPCRs without synthesis - Based on the deep knowledge of 7TM structure and function and on 2nd generation technologies which apply a integrated mixture of structure- and ligand based computational tools, Dr. Frimurer has together with the roden metabolic phenotyping center (Prof. Birgitte Holst) and the section for receptology and enteroendocrinology (Prof. Thue Schwartz) delivered proof-of-concept (PoC) for the in-house discovery and development process of potent, efficacious, selective and oral available tool compounds for orphans GPCRs associated with obesity and type-2 diabetes. The drug candidates and knowledge from the projects could form the basis for totally novel routes of, for example controlling metabolic activity and thereby treat obesity.

Research Innovation and Communication

Publications: Author or co-author on > 40 papers in peer-reviewed, medium to high profile scientific journals. Involved in innovation and commercialization activities. Patents: Author or co-author on > 15 patents on chemical leads and drug candidates for the treatment of obesity, type-2 diabetes, asthma inflammation and pain. Most recently (Mar. 2014) we patented a strong chemical package on oral available small molecule GPR39 agonists – a potential obesity and type-2 diabetes target. Invited talks: Participated in multiple oral presentations at international and national scientific meetings.

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