Lamassu Bio, Inc.known as a team of “academicians-turned-biopharmaceutical disruptors,” is setting its sights on the unmet needs of the pharmaceutical industry as it announces a new venture to develop therapeutics for cancer. The company is known in the biopharmaceutical world for bringing its pancreatic cancer therapeutic candidate, RABI-767, from research to trials in under 1.5 years.
RABI-767 is a direct-injection therapeutic for severe acute pancreatitis. The biologic is licensed by the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, where the treatment was initially discovered.
Acute pancreatic cancer is one of many afflictions that affects millions of patients annually, in the US alone. Mitigation of symptoms can require surgical or hospital intervention, and patients are at risk for the development of systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), which can be fatal.
The team was developed with several goals that would set them apart from other researchers: to effectively collaborate with global researchers to develop comprehensive data sets, treatments for patients with diseases that are difficult to treat or have no existing effective treatments and to shorten the tedious US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) timeline to approval.
Dr. Gabi Hanna, MD, Founder and CEO of Lamassu Bio explains how the international collaboration would benefit global human health: “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.”
Bringing a pharmaceutical product from research to New Drug Approval (NDA) or Biologic License Approval (BLA) can take years. A large chunk of this time is spent in research and development, as well as communicating with the FDA to determine if the product has been researched thoroughly enough to begin non-clinical, and subsequently, clinical trials. These are two key areas, research and communication, where time can be recovered.
Lamassu Bio has recognized the limitation this timeline places on patients that know treatments are coming but are forced to endure the long wait until drug access is opened to them. Rather, the company will allow the timeline previous set by RABI-767 to become their standard.
Biospace discussed the approach with Dr. Hanna in 2021, when a Mayo Clinic study was conducted for RABI-767. “We have accelerated the development by tailoring the business around the science – not the other way around,” she said.
Lamassu Bio’s first venture to develop RABI-767 involved a 2018 launch of Lamassu Pharma, LLC, in partnership with the Mayo Clinic. This launch earned recognition and funding from the National Institute of Health (NIH). In 2021, the NIH awarded the startup a $1.5 million Small Business Innovation Research grant to continue the development of RABI-767. The NIH funding, coupled with a Series A financing round accumulation of $2.7 million, underscores the biotech industry’s interest in Lamassu’s new approach to drug development and business.
By streamlining the research of a novel therapeutic, Lamassu Bio hopes to accelerate new ventures through preclinical research and eliminate unnecessary time constraints.