About Empress

Small molecule drug discovery at rapid speed

Empress makes the discovery of effective, easy-to-take, value-driven medicines more productive with a platform that finds starting points for drugs inside the human body.

What if the solution to better drugs was not in front of us, but inside of us?

The discovery of biologic drugs based on proteins, information molecules, and cells has proven that inside the human body exists a rich source of bioactive molecules that can reliably inform drug products, drug targets and biomarkers. Yet to date, drug discovery has largely overlooked the millions of unique chemical reactions that take place inside each of us to maintain health, with billions more unique chemistries involved.

What’s more, small molecule drugs make ideal medicines, yet conventional R&D is a lengthy, risky process. What if we could reliably and predictably generate drug candidates that are more likely to succeed at a fraction of the time and cost?

Founded by Flagship Pioneering in 2020, Empress has built a proprietary product platform to canvass the untapped universe of human chemistry to access this vast opportunity space to find inherently drug-like small molecules from endogenous sources and pioneer a new paradigm in small molecule drug discovery with tremendous potential value to patients and society.


Jason Park, PhD

Co-Founder & Acting CEO - Operating Partner, Flagship Pioneering

Sabrina Yang, PhD

Co-Founder & Chief Innovation Officer - Principal, Flagship Pioneering

Boris Hayete, PhD

SVP, Computational Biology

Murray McKinnon, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer

Joseph Kelleher, PhD

SVP, Biology

Kevin Kreutter, PhD

VP, Drug Discovery

Board of Directors

Doug Cole

Co-Founder - Managing Partner, Flagship Pioneering

John Mendlein

Co-Founder - Executive Partner, Flagship Pioneering

Empress News

Who We Are

At Empress, we ask big questions in pursuit of novel solutions. We operate at the intersection of the latest advances in metagenomics, biology, technology, and chemistry with the expectation that these disciplines, harnessed by our ingenuity, hold the answers to finding effective medicines at a fraction of time and cost. The implications of our work will be profound, the journeys to get there, exhilarating.

Together, we are using the chemistry inside each of us to make medicines for all of us.

join Us

We are entrepreneurial scientists and creative optimists working together to create better medicines for patients faster