Sirenas catalogues chemical diversity from around the globe and has developed an efficient, data driven approach to identify and translate the most promising discoveries into new therapeutics for the highest unmet needs.

Through chemical synthesis, we are populating and advancing a pre-clinical pipeline of small molecules that modulate the immune response in select ways.


A Company That’s Rapidly Producing New Therapeutic Options

Sirenas is a company with a validated drug development platform designed to bring unparalleled chemical diversity to high-value therapeutic areas. Our mission is to generate a proprietary and partnered pipeline of breakthrough drug leads. We currently specialize in the discovery and development of new chemical entities that modulate the human immune response in specific ways, with application in oncology and infectious disease.

The founders, executives and staff of Sirenas represent top talent in the areas of marine discovery, informatics, organic synthetic chemistry, and early stage drug development.

Distinguished leadership in these pillars allows Sirenas to overcome common hurdles in the drug discovery and development process to produce potentially breakthrough products modeled after compounds thriving in nature—and to do so on a shortened timeframe.

Eduardo Esquenazi, PhD Chief Executive Officer, Founder
Jake Beverage, PharmD Chief Operating Officer, Co-founder
Phil Baran, PhD Sultan of Synthesis and Co-founder
Mary Wheeler, PhD MBA Chief Business Officer
Rich Schiavi Vice President of Technology
Steven Cohen, PhD Senior Director of Oncology
Mary Haak – Frendscho, PhD Board
Bob More Board
Doron Shabat, PhD Scientific Adviser
Pieter Dorrestein, PhD Scientific Adviser
Bill Gerwick, PhD Scientific Adviser
Benjamin Cravatt, PhD Scientific Adviser
Terry Rosen, PhD Scientific Adviser


Fulfilling a Medical Need for Greater Chemical Diversity

At Sirenas, we believe that truly novel therapeutics can only be created with novel chemistry as a starting material. Marine organisms produce some of the most unique and diverse chemistry known. These organisms have evolved over billions of years in competitive ecosystems, and rely on very potent and complex bioactive metabolites to communicate, compete and deter predation. These are the same qualities that make them ideal starting points for powerful therapeutic agents against human disease.

From the broadest perspective – the goal of Sirenas is simply to find efficient ways to harness and translate this new frontier of chemical space for new classes of high-impact therapeutics.

Drawing from our exclusive, highly curated collections of chemical diversity from all over the world, Sirenas employs deep informatics and next-generation chemistry to accelerate the development of structurally diverse molecules that address unmet needs in modern medicine. With our unique approach to lead identification, Sirenas presents novel molecular candidates that are pre-validated by billions of years of evolution in competitive environments.

Our world-class team of synthetic and medicinal chemists, using cutting-edge and sometimes novel approaches, quickly synthesizes the best leads for preclinical development, working closely with a team of industry veterans to bring these towards clinical trials.

Sirenas dives deep into the ocean’s unstudied biodiversity to discover potent therapeutic molecules, developing those findings into novel drugs for serious diseases.

Truly novel therapeutics from the broadest, most diverse chemistry in the world…

Marine Discovery

Sirenas harnesses untapped chemical diversity from chemically prolific organisms across the globe. It is not a static approach as we are continuously working to expand our collection footprint in novel, bio-diverse environments. Currently, the focus of our collection expeditions are marine organisms; typically cyanobacteria, marine sponges, algae and other simple invertebrates, that have evolved diverse chemical biology profiles in response to the highly competitive or extreme nature of their environments. Our sustainable collections are done by hand and only require a one-time collection of modest amounts of material. Sensitive or threatened organisms are always excluded.

A sample obtained during our collection efforts is processed through a proprietary approach that yields a fractionated chemical library with various layers of high-resolution analytical data, that is then catalogued into our database and ready to be screened for bioactivity. Sirenas believes the inspiration for new drugs and therapies to help treat disease will be uncovered in the chemistry profiles of these organisms.

Adaptive Molecular Informatics

At the heart Atlantis is an ultra efficient database and software platform designed and built in house. This database captures the digital fingerprints of the entire chemical library, from the most minor to the most abundant or complex molecules, and combines it with HTS screening results and other biological and biomedical profiles. When this warehouse of chemical space and biological activity is creatively coupled with modern statistical, machine learning and metabolomic algorithms, the result is remarkable: the capacity to very quickly identify the most promising starting matter for nearly any disease system or biological assay. As the data grows, the system only gets more efficient and smarter, yielding deeper understandings of the relationships between chemistry and biology.

Next Generation Chemistry

Once a promising discovery has been identified, world-renowned synthetic and medicinal chemists step in to complete the process, replicating the complex chemical structures of the marine molecules, and iterating and fine-tuning to create new compounds ready to advance toward the clinic. The entire process is completed, from start to finish, in a fraction of the time normally associated with marine product drug discovery.

For example, in one of our first partnerships to uncover novel antibody drug conjugate payloads, it took the team fewer than nine months to isolate and characterize the marine-derived compound, analog it to see how it may be applied in a therapeutic setting, synthesize it, and conjugate it to a standard antibody. This would normally take years under academic natural product or traditional pharma paradigms.

Atlantis Platform Validation

The goal of the Atlantis Platform is to decrease by orders of magnitude the time to translate chemical diversity from the ocean into lead programs for serious diseases. Sirenas first applied our marine-inspired technology to the discovery of cytotoxic payloads for antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) with differentiated mechanisms of action, and validated the Atlantis Platform with the generation of four exciting payload leads in just one year.

Immune Modulation by Novel Small Molecules

In 2016, with our validated discovery engine and expanded expertise and capacity in biology, including a close collaboration with the California Institute for Biomedical Research, Sirenas initiated an ambitious effort to identify and validate small molecule immune modulators. Despite a crowded and competitive immuno-oncology field, there remains a need for novel small molecules that can be used in combination with checkpoint inhibitors and other approaches to cancer, and represents a tremendous opportunity for both impact and a reduction in treatment cost. Additionally, the capacity to modulate the human immune response in predictable ways with small molecules is an exceptional opportunity across many additional unmet medical needs, including neuroscience, infectious and auto-immune diseases.

Neglected Diseases

Sirenas is also working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to leverage the Atlantis platform to bring forth promising small molecule scaffolds for malaria and tuberculosis.



Marine-Inspired Therapeutics

our partners

ADC Payload Partnerships

Sirenas is currently engaged in ADC partnerships based on our proprietary payloads and payload discovery efforts. If you would like to explore a partnership opportunity, contact us at

Platform Partnerships

In addition to its ADC discovery and development efforts, Sirenas has entered into several significant biopharmaceutical partnerships that have produced outcomes validating the company’s informatics-driven approach to lead identification and its unique capabilities for rapid drug development.

Once leads are identified, the Sirenas platform enables the chemical synthesis of complex marine molecules into medicinal compounds, applicable to a wide range of therapeutic areas.

If you would like to explore a partnership opportunity, contact us at


What the world is buzzing about Sirenas


HATCH by San Diego Magazine captures the story of Founder and CEO Eduardo Esquenazi and how it shaped Sirenas. – Read full article.


Founder and CEO Eduardo Esquenazi speaks with the Smithsonian about his journey and the path forward for Sirenas LLC. Read full interview.


Learn more about how Sirenas is meeting the challenges of natural product discovery in a feature by Fast Company’s Fast Co.Exist!


Sirenas and Calibr form a drug discovery collaboration. View press release.


Sirenas is a panel finalist for South by Southwest 2017! Alongside Fabien Cousteau, Sirenas CEO Eduardo Esquenazi will address “Racing Climate Change to Cure Neglected Diseases” – Read full panel description.


CEO Eduardo Esquenazi speaks with Xconomy about Sirenas’ key innovation. Learn more.


Sirenas is awarded a grant to identify nature-inspired drug leads for neglected diseases. View press release.


The San Diego Business Journal features Sirenas in the wake of grant announcement.  Read more.


On this week’s BioTech Nation, looking for new drugs … in the ocean. Dr. Eduardo Esquenazi, Founder and CEO of Sirenas LLC, talks about bioprospecting.  Listen to full podcast.


Eduardo Esquenazi, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Sirenas LLC, will be a featured keynote presenter for the 2016 Gordon Research Conference on Marine Natural Products. View press release.


Sirenas is listed as one of 12 San Diego Life Sciences Startups to Watch in 2016! Read full article.


Sirenas named SDVG Cool Company for 2013. View press release.


We’d Like to Hear From You

While it’s sometimes difficult to track down our marine discovery team, you can always reach one us here at our San Diego headquarters.

3550 General Atomics Court. Suite 02/211
San Diego, CA 92121
email: / ph 858-909-5685

Drop Us a Line

Are You Ready to Make a Difference in the World of Therapeutics?

Sirenas connects the chemical diversity of our oceans with world-class science and cutting-edge technology to efficiently yield breakthrough therapeutics. We are actively looking for talented individuals to join our innovative team.

Please send us an email at to inquire about current career opportunities.