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Fighting Overweigth and Obesity

Empros Pharma develops pharmaceutical treatment against overweight and obesity. The EMP16 product is now in efficacy proof-of-concept clinical trials. The early phase safety and tolerability trials are finalized, demonstrating a best-in-class safety profile and improved blood glucose control.

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A global challenge

Overweight and obesity is a growing global problem affecting an estimated 1.5 billion overweight and 500 million obese individuals (defined as a body mass index, BMI, of 30 or greater). In USA and across Europe between 30-70% of the population are overweight (BMI of 25-29.9) and overweight and obesity has become the fifth leading risk for death globally. Among the most troubling obesity-related trends is an almost 50% increase of overweight children and adolescents during the last decades.

Despite the clearly identified health issues, physicians lack a sufficient tool-box of treatments to be able to halt and reverse the trend. The treatment alternatives are far from adequate when taking effect as well as safety into consideration:
– Life style changes have low compliance and consequently poor long-term effects.
– Available oral medications have a limited efficacy (5-10% weight loss) and often associated with troublesome side-effects.
– Bariatric surgery, is effective but irreversible, and may result in multiple severe adverse effects.

Body mass index (BMI) is defined as the body weight (in kg) in divided by the square of body height (in meter); kg/m2.
Overweight is defined as BMI of 25-29.9 kg/m2.
Obesity is defined as BMI above 30 kg/m2.

EMP16 – a new approach to fighting obesity

Empros Pharma has developed a revolutionary oral drug – EMP16. The main mechanism of action for EMP16 is to delay normal food digestion and absorption processes towards the end of the small intestine. EMP16 thereby support and increase the natural satiety response present in the gastrointestinal system to regulate food intake. An important distinction to other, often hormone based satiety regulating pharmaceuticals (that will act on one or a few of the hormone signalling pathways) is that EMP16 enhances the entire endogenous hormone response in a physiological way. Empros Pharma expects EMP16 to be a safer and more potent method to address the medical need of obese patients.

Features of EMP16 (patent protected):
Advanced modified release formulation with immediate release fractions, gastroresistant frations as well as delayed release fractions.
A multiple unit formulation for improved tolerability, controlled gastric emptying and targeted drug release.
A fixed combination of orlistat and acarbose, two locally active, well established and safe drugs.

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Due to its excellent safety profile, overweight subjects with or without decreased glucose tolerance, i.e. 'pre-diabetic' and/or 'pre-obese', could be especially interesting as a treatment group as there are currently no relevant (and safe) alternative products available

The Empros Team

The Empros team consists of senior researchers and entrepreneurs with a combined professional experience of well over 100 years. The academic background covers pharmacuticals, nutrition, metabolism, obesity and chemistry as well as clinical trials, pharmaceutical development and pharmaceutical technology. We have a solid background and base with Uppsala University in Sweden.

In addition to the academic background the team has extensive experience of start-ups and life science invention, several of the team members have dozens of medical and/or pharmaceutical ventures on their CV:s as well as senior project management.

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Arvid is The Driver. He abandoned a fancy career at the Royal Academy of Engineering Sciences when the he was headhunted to Empros in 2013. He could not resist the opportunity to develop a drug and build a company from scratch. Arvid was appointed CEO of Empros Pharma in 2015. Arvid is a physicist with a PhD in physical chemistry.

Arvid Söderhäll, PhD


Stefan is The Wizard. He is a pharmacist with 20+ years professional experience, involved in 50+ pharmaceutical projects. His skills in advanced pharmaceutical formulation are almost magic, but only almost. He simply knows what he is doing, better than anybody else. Well – he is in fact a real magician as well.

Stefan Grudén
Head of CMC and QA


Ulf is The Keystone. As Empros is a cross-disciplinary project Ulf is the nutritionist in the team that digest anything from design of clinical trials and statistical power calculations to intestinal hormone response. No wonder he’s got a PhD in nutrition and a position at Uppsala University.

Dr. Ulf Holmbäck
Head of Clinical Program


Anders is For Real. As a paediatrician specialized in obesity at the Uppsala University Hospital, he meets the consequences of the obesity pandemic every day. He is involved as principal investigator in several other clinical investigations except of those at Empros.

Assoc. Prof. Anders Forslund, MD
Chief Medical Officer


Göran is The Pillar. His academic fundament goes deeper and wider and the scientific highlights are higher. He has published 100+ original and review papers and author of several book chapters. Göran holds the chair in pharmaceutical technology at Uppsala University and he is a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences

Prof. Göran Alderborn
Scientific Advisor


Years of combined professional experience


Weight loss in Target Product Profile


Publications from the Empros Team

The Company

Empros Pharma AB was founded late in 2013. The founders, experienced from several previous start-up ventures decided to keep it simple; to establish virtual organisation minimizing the overhead.

The Empros Team is the heart of the organisation, localised in Stockholm and Uppsala.
Our important partners are Recipharm (Stockholm and Bordeaux), Chas. Hude (Copenhagen), Clinical Trial Consultants (Uppsala) and PharmaVentures (Oxford) to mention a few.

Empros Pharma AB is a privately owned Swedish limited liability company.