"Discovery needs a secure, nurturing environment, so if you run it as you would product
development or manufacturing, you suppress creativity. Quite simply, scientists need time and space to experiment."
License a Discovery
Linda and Jack Gill Chair in Biomolecular Sciences,
Professor of Chemistry
In a 2009 ABC Good Morning America feature on a new drug for obesity and diabetes, the camera cut to a laboratory on the IU Bloomington campus. Chemistry professor Richard DiMarchi explained his research on a new drug that combines the properties of two natural hormones into a single drug that drastically reduces obesity in rodents.
It’s the latest news from Marcadia Biotech, a start-up company located in Carmel, Indiana, that was cofounded by DiMarchi in 2006 with help from IURTC.
Marcadia holds the license for the clinical candidates discovered by DiMarchi and his colleagues at IU’s Department of Chemistry. The obesity treatment mentioned above is being co-developed with Merck Pharmaceuticals. It’s not the only one of Marcadia’s promising discoveries, though. The company is also developing a glucagon analog for treatment of severe hypoglycemia, based on DiMarchi’s research. The company has been especially successful in attracting venture capital from high-profile capital providers such as 5AM and Frazier to support development of its drugs.
Professor DiMarchi joined the IU faculty in 2003 after retiring as a group vice president at Eli Lilly and Company. He is widely known for his discovery and development of rDNA-derived Humalog® (LisPro-human insulin). His current research focuses on developing proteins with enhanced therapeutic properties through biochemical optimization with non-natural amino acids—a field he has named “chemical-biotechnology.”