Physician-scientists who slashed drug development timeline in 2021 now focused on building global partnerships to solve unmet needs for difficult-to-treat diseases
DURHAM, N.C., March 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The team of entrepreneur physician-scientists who first developed the novel therapeutic RABI-767 for the treatment of severe acute pancreatitis have launched a new biotech startup to accelerate the development of novel therapeutics for major unmet needs and difficult-to-treat diseases. The startup, Lamassu Bio, Inc., will first focus its research efforts on the development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of multiple cancers, including pancreatic cancer.
"Every day there are diseases with unmet needs, like pancreatic cancer, that cause the deaths of thousands of patients," said Dr. Gabi Hanna, MD, Founder and CEO of Lamassu Bio. "The traditional drug approval timeline in the United States, and elsewhere throughout the world, takes so long that most patients with these severe diseases will not live long enough to benefit from drugs currently in development. Our goal is to serve these unmet needs by helping accelerate the time it takes drugs for unmet needs to work through the pipeline—via a combination of innovative science and entrepreneurship centered on patient benefits—and into the hands of patients, where they do the most good."
In addition to working towards the acceleration of drug development timelines in the United States, Lamassu Bio will also partner with organizations around the world to bring novel therapeutics for difficult-to-treat diseases to patients in other countries more quickly. These new partnerships will allow scientists to utilize global research knowledge and expertise to accelerate the development and commercialization of therapeutics.
"We believe our methods, which have already proven successful in the United States, can benefit patients worldwide. As a result, we’re building partnerships with global reach to help establish knowledge bridges that accelerate the development and availability of drugs for unmet needs wherever they exist," said Hanna. "Cancers and other serious diseases don’t only confine themselves to the country where a drug is being developed, so we’re thinking beyond borders with this new venture, and broadly sharing information so we can find solutions more quickly."
In 2018, Hanna, along with Drs. Rabi Hanna, MD and Greg Palmer, PhD, founded Lamassu Pharma, LLC, a biotech startup, in partnership with the Mayo Clinic. Lamassu Pharma is focused on accelerating the drug development timeline by improving processes and communication at every level of development, from initial discovery to safety, IND-enabling, and clinical trials, and finally, through to market. In 2021, Lamassu Pharma announced the successful completion of preclinical toxicology for RABI-767, a novel therapeutic for the treatment of severe acute pancreatitis first discovered at the Mayo Clinic. The successful acceleration of RABI-767 through preclinical trials gave the Lamassu team the proof they needed to take the next step: building a company that could handle multiple projects and partners at one time.
"Lamassu Pharma was our first private venture to take our vision out of academia, and it was built conservatively, with one asset in mind: RABI-767," said Hanna. "We were blessed with good investors and partners who believed in our vision and our capability, and a wonderful partner in the Mayo Clinic. All the pieces came together in the right way at the right time, and we were able to get RABI-767 from the discovery research lab to clinical trial-ready in less than 1.5 years. That was unheard of until now. The birth of Lamassu Bio will give us the opportunity to repeat this success many times over both within and outside of the United States, exponentially increasing the number of patients we can help."
About Lamassu Bio, Inc.
Founded by Drs. Gabi Hanna, Rabi Hanna, and Greg Palmer after of the success of Lamassu Pharma, Lamassu Bio, Inc. aims to take the development of drugs targeting major unmet needs in the field of oncology to the next level. Research efforts at Lamassu Bio focus first on the development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of multiple cancers. Lamassu’s team of academicians-turned-biopharmaceutical disruptors is accelerating the drug pipeline in the United States and opening borders to partnerships with researchers around the world to bring treatments to those who need them most.
Amy C. Oliver
SOURCE Lamassu Bio, Inc.