January 23, 2024
Empress Announces Formation of World Leading Scientific Advisory Board
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., January 23, 2024 – Empress Therapeutics, a company accelerating small molecule drug generation through novel insights linking genes to chemistry, today announced the formation of the Empress Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) with leading experts in synthetic biology, computational biology, genetics, chemistry, and metabolism and disease. The SAB will work closely with the leadership at Empress Therapeutics to advance the company’s ChemilogicsTM platform and pipeline of drug leads.
“We are honored to have these extraordinary scientific leaders join Empress in its mission to generate safe, effective medicines faster and more predictably,” said Jason Park, Ph.D., Co-Founder and CEO of Empress Therapeutics. “Our Scientific Advisory Board provides invaluable expertise across multiple aspects of our ChemilogicsTM platform, which uses AI to discover therapeutic chemistry encoded in genetic data. They will help guide Empress as we prioritize and advance programs across a broad range of diseases, with a goal of having multiple programs in the clinic starting in 2025.”
“In extending the central dogma from DNA to chemistry, Empress creates the unprecedented capability to find drug-like, human-compatible chemistry with genetic associations to health and disease,” said Jim Collins, Ph.D., Henri Termeer Professor of Medical Engineering and Science and Professor of Biological Engineering at MIT. “By identifying small molecules that co-evolved inside the human body, there’s a higher probability of success and an ability to accelerate the discovery of new small molecule medicines at a scale that I’ve not seen before.”
Empress Scientific Advisory Board Members
Jim Collins, Ph.D., is also a Core Founding Faculty Member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. He is one of the founders of the field of synthetic biology and pioneered the discovery of novel antibiotics using artificial intelligence (AI). Dr. Collins has received the MacArthur Fellowship and is an elected member of all three national academies: the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Medicine.
Wendy Garrett, M.D., Ph.D., is the Irene Heinz Given Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and the Co-Director and Co-Founder of the Harvard Chan Center for the Microbiome in Public Health. Dr. Garrett investigates host-microbiota interactions in health and disease, and her team has identified specific species, pathways, and metabolites made by the microbiota that influence health and disease states.
Curtis Huttenhower, Ph.D., is a Professor of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics in the Departments of Biostatistics and Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where he co-directs the Harvard Chan Microbiome in Public Health Center. The Huttenhower lab focuses on computational methods to characterize proteins and molecular activity in the human microbiome. His lab worked extensively with the NIH Human Microbiome Project to help develop the first comprehensive maps of the healthy microbiome and of dysbiosis during inflammatory bowel disease.
Joshua Rabinowitz, M.D., Ph.D., is a Professor of Chemistry and Genomics and the Director of the Ludwig Princeton Cancer Institute at Princeton University. Dr. Rabinowitz’s laboratory is a recognized leader in the comprehensive analysis of cellular metabolism through mass spectrometry, isotope tracers, and computational data integration. These technologies have been broadly applied to uncover novel disease biology, identify drug targets, and probe mechanisms of drug action.
Jared Rutter, Ph.D., is a Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry, Co-Director of the Diabetes and Metabolism Research Center and Co-Leader of the Nuclear Control of Cell Growth and Differentiation Program at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah. His research is centered upon cellular metabolic control. His team develops experimental and computational platforms to identify and characterize novel features and effects of metabolism and determine how alterations in distinct metabolic pathways can impact cell fate and behavior decisions.
Christopher Voigt, Ph.D., is the Daniel I.C. Wang Professor of Advanced Biotechnology, Head of the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT. He is also the Co-Director of the Synthetic Biology Center and Co-Founder of Pivot Bio. The Voigt lab develops new synthetic biology technologies and computational tools that push the scale of genetic engineering. The research includes recoding prokaryotic gene clusters for screening and discovery of new therapeutics.
Empress’s proprietary ChemilogicsTM product platform creates drugs by understanding how the genetic code programs cells in the human body to produce chemical compounds called metabolites, a rich source of potential small molecule medicines. The company is initially focused on metabolites produced by commensal bacteria and uses a proprietary suite of computational and genetic technologies to create small molecule compounds with favorable drug properties. The company calls its approach ChemilogicsTM because it creates products with the valuable attributes of small molecule chemical compounds by harnessing the genetic foundation of biologics.
About Empress Therapeutics
Founded by Flagship Pioneering in 2020, Empress Therapeutics generates good medicines, fast, by starting with chemistry inside the human body. The Empress ChemilogicsTM platform uses novel insights that connect the lines of code in microbial DNA with drug-like chemistry made in the human body to create first- or best-in-class oral medicines for a broad range of diseases quickly, predictably, and cost-effectively. For more information, visit www.empresstx.com and follow on LinkedIn.
Lindy Devereux, Flagship Pioneering, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jessica Yingling, Ph.D., email@example.com, +1.858.344.8091