Sirenas | Marine Inspired Therapeutics

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 advancing a rich and differentiated pre-clinical pipeline of payloads for antibody drug conjugates and new chemical entities in immuno-oncology.


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 differentiated payloads for antibody drug conjugates and of new chemical entities in immuno-oncology.

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
Rich Schiavi Vice President of Technology
Steven Cohen, PhD Senior Director of Oncology
Mary Haak – Frendscho, PhD Executive Chair
Doron Shabat, PhD Scientific Adviser
Pieter Dorrestein, PhD Scientific Adviser
Bill Gerwick, 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 the case of Sirenas’ lead antibody drug conjugate payload, 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. In 2016, Sirenas will continue to pursue discovery and development of cytotoxic payloads for ADCs, along with new chemical entities (NCEs) in immuno-oncology, neurological disorders, and infectious disease.

Marine-Inspired Payloads for Antibody-Drug Conjugates

ADCs hold the promise of revolutionizing therapy for cancer patients. Comprised of a monoclonal antibody, a linker and a small molecule “payload,” they allow the targeted administration of chemotherapy, or other bioactive small molecules, directly to cancer cells.

The goal of ADCs are to eliminate cancer cells in a selective, targeted way without exposing the body broadly to the toxic effects of chemotherapy of the “free” drug. These side effects can severely limit the application of a promising cancer-killing agent. On the other hand, antibodies can be designed to target specific markers on cancer cells and are very well tolerated by the body but often do not have the desired cancer killing activity. The combination, an antibody-drug conjugate, offers the potential to revolutionize and greatly improve the treatment paradigm for nearly all cancers.

Sirenas proprietary ADC technology is focused on rapid, informatics-driven discovery and generation of cytotoxic payloads with differentiated mechanisms and cancer cell killing profiles.


Marine-Inspired Payloads for Antibody-Drug Conjugates

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


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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.