Empire Biotechnologies

Our Focus

Empire Biotechnologies is developing an orally delivered, protein therapeutic called Mfge8 to treat diseases of malabsorption. Our long-term vision is a therapy for the millions suffering from malabsorption; our current focus is the orphan disease Short Bowel Syndrome (SBS). SBS patients suffer from debilitating malnutrition, and treatments are extremely limited, demonstrating a significant unmet need.

Short bowel syndrome

Short Bowel Syndrome (SBS) is the most severe condition of malabsorption. SBS occurs when a gastrointestinal disease becomes so severe it requires surgical removal of the affected portion and resection of the remaining intestine. This drastic decrease in intestinal surface area greatly reduces nutritional intake and causes severe malabsorption. Consequently, patients with SBS suffer from physical weakness, chronic diarrhea, dehydration, and often develop serious psychological issues due to the drastic lifestyle changes necessary to cope with SBS.

the mfge8 solution

Empire Biotechnologies is developing an orally delivered, therapeutic protein (Mfge8) capable of significantly increasing the absorption of nutrients in the intestine. This endogenous integrin ligand is found highly concentrated in breast milk. Mfge8 works two-fold by increasing fat uptake directly in intestinal epithelial cells, while simultaneously slowing gastric motility, thus increasing the time for nutrient absorption. Because of these two complementary mechanisms of action, this protein promises to be highly effective in treating malabsorption and can drastically improve the quality of life for patients who suffer from SBS.


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Donald McCarthy, PhD

Dr. McCarthy holds a Ph.D. in molecular biology and biochemistry from the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the University at Albany. His research focuses on understanding the molecular underpinnings that dictate pathological processes occurring during disease. With a strong background in immunology, he is well suited to define disease etiology and determine possible routes of therapeutic intervention. Dr. McCarthy has received numerous awards reflecting both his scientific strengths and business acumen. Most recently, he was the recipient of the NIH Institutional Research Fellowship in the molecular and cellular basis of cardiovascular disease. Prior to his postdoctoral work, he was the recipient of 3 consecutive Young Investigator Awards, various travel awards, and the Paul D. Fridlund biology scholarship. He has chaired scientific sessions at international conferences, authored peer-reviewed publications and is a scientific reviewer for the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine. At Empire Biotech, he directs technology development through predefined milestones and is responsible for coordinating research efforts with our scientific partners. Leveraging his expertise in Mfge8 biology, he is positioned to make quick progress validating its efficacy in animal models of malabsorption
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Stephen Kasper

Mr. Kasper is the co-founder of Empire Biotechnologies. His Ph.D. research has been focused in applied and translational sciences, specifically nanoscale engineering applications in next-generation therapeutics for infections. Mr. Kasper also has hands-on experience working at a start-up specialty materials company developing smart polymer technologies for the wound-healing market, that has received multiple SBIR/STTR awards. Mr. Kasper holds a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University at Albany.
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Piero Mendez

Mr. Mendez graduated with a B.S in Biomedical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis (’13). During his time as an undergraduate Mr. Mendez worked at Washington University’s medical school in Dr. Nichol’s cardiac electrophysiology lab studying the effects of sodium ion channel mutations on the cardiac action potential. He also worked as a research engineer for the biomedical startup Retectix, designing electrospinning mechanisms for the production of nanoscale scaffolds for tissue repair. To compliment his engineering education with business experience Mr. Mendez Co-Owned and operated a student-run company called Wydown Water. As the head of internal operations he was tasked with handling all internal logistics as well as the company accounting and finances. Upon graduation, Mr. Mendez Co-Founded a sleep-tech company, FortyWinks. Mr. Mendez oversaw the design and construction of the first iteration of their flagship product, a completely lead-free EEG-Sensor integrated pillow. He also focused on the company’s finances and developing third party relationships with medical professionals, investors, and suppliers. Mr. Mendez has worked with various startups, helping them acquire their first users to gain traction in the marketplace. Mr. Mendez will handle company finances and all fund raising efforts.


Below you can find publications related to the technology

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