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.

About Us

Our goal is to improve quality of life through the innovation of nanoscale and genetically engineered biopolymers.

Empire Biotechnologies was formed in 2013 to execute its goal of commercializing platform technologies under development at the most reputable institutions. Our management team is composed of entrepreneurial scientists with extensive training in business entity formation, development, law, and marketing, as well as formal degrees and expertise in biochemistry, molecular biology, nanoscale engineering, cell biology and immunology. In 2013, Empire Biotechnologies was awarded first place in the Biotechnology/Healthcare track at the New York Business Plan Competition. Empire Biotechnologies was also a Top 10 finalist in the 2015 OneStart Americas competition. See more about our progress in our "News" section.


Stephen Kasper
Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Kasper is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer. 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.
Donald McCarthy, PhD
Chief Technology Officer
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
Perry Egertson, JD
VP of Business and Corporate Development
After graduating from Augsburg College in 2009 with a major in economics, Mr. Egertson worked as an accountant at a mid-size software company for nearly three years. In the fall of 2011 Mr. Egertson began attending William Mitchell College of Law where he took an interest in contract law, business entity formation, income tax, and negotiations. Mr. Egertson was a member of the WMCL Law Review as a staff member and later as an editor, refining his writing and editing at a renowned legal journal. Mr. Egertson also enjoyed success as half of William Mitchell’s team in the ABA Negotiation Competition, winning his region and reaching the semi-finals in the national competition. Mr. Egertson graduated from William Mitchell cum laude in May 2014 and passed the Minnesota Bar Exam shortly thereafter. Mr. Egertson currently works within the general counsel’s organization for a major financial institution and volunteers for a free tax preparation clinic in his free time. Mr. Egertson is responsible for ensuring company compliance with all regulatory bodies, and composing all legal documents. He also serves as the company’s in-house legal counsel.
Piero Mendez
VP of Finance
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. Following his involvement with FortyWinks Mr. Mendez spent time at Tradecraft, a “personal accelerator” and incubator for small startups. While at Tradecraft Mr. Mendez worked with small startups, helping them acquire their first users to gain traction in the marketplace. Mr. Mendez will handle company finances and all fund raising efforts.

Our Publications

Below you can find some of the pioneering research the Empire team has contributed to.

Get in touch

Interested and want to learn more? Drop us a line.