WARF Therapeutics


View the slides from our launch event: Found in Translation: New directions in drug discovery at UW-Madison.

Moving Translational Research Toward Patients

Mission: To partner with UW-Madison and Morgridge Institute for Research Principal Investigators (PIs) interested in translational research, invest to discover & develop novel drug like molecules that modulate validated targets and improve human disease, and partner with Bio-centric companies to develop and commercialize

WARF Therapeutics Drug Hunting Team

Jon Young, Head of WARF Therapeutics

Jon has over 20 years of medicinal chemistry experience in pharma and biotech, including 50 publications and patents and eight clinical candidates. He served as a director at Merck Research Laboratories and Celgene and as a Vice President at Regulus Therapeutics, resulting in significant experience in small molecule, PROTAC and RNA drug modalities.

WARF is recruiting an Associate Director/Director of Chemistry for the WARF Therapeutics team. Click the job posting to learn more.

Licensing and Business Development for WARF Therapeutics

John Nagel

jnagel@warf.org | 608.960.9848

Rafael Diaz

rdiaz@warf.org | 608.960.9847

Bridging the Gap Between UW Discoveries and Big Pharma

UW-Madison and MIR PIs

Target Discovery

  • Novel biological target
  • Therapeutic hypothesis
  • Rigorous target validation

WARF Therapeutics

Preclinical Drug Discovery

  • Preclinical Drug Discovery Experts
  • Project Management
  • Novel Intellectual Property (IP)

Virtual Laboratory

  • HTS, Fragment or Virtual Screening
  • Small Molecule Design & Optimization
  • In vivo PK/PD, efficacy, toxicology

Pharma or Biotech Partners

Drug Development

  • IND Tox
  • Clninical Trials
  • NDA

Benefits of WARF Therapeutics for Researchers

WARF is committed to this strategic initiative that partners with PIs from the UW-Madison and the Morgridge Institute for Research. This partnership and investment will move validated targets to a high value developed chemical asset accompanied by a compelling preclinical data package.

  • Improve the value proposition of drug candidates to heighten the likelihood of commercialization
  • Continue UW’s legacy of drug discovery innovation
  • Ultimately deliver novel medicines to patients with unmet medical needs
  • Potential for NIH grant funding (near-term) and inventor or innovator shares (long-term) if licensed

WARF Therapeutics Process and Program Submission


  • PI and WARF Therapeutics team meet regularly to review program data, identify gaps and plan next steps

Submission Process

  • PI submits IDR and “Program Nomination Form” after target discovery/validation

Instructions for submitting the Program Nomination Form: