Lamassu Pharma Receives Prestigious $1.5 Million NIH SBIRP Grant to Support Further Development of its Novel Therapy for Acute Pancreatitis

July 14, 2020 8:51 AM EDT

DURHAM, N.C., July 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Lamassu Pharma LLC, a privately held Biotech announced today it has received $1.5 million in Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This will be used for further development of its lead therapeutic compound, RABI-767, a novel small molecule lipase inhibitor licensed from the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Lamassu is developing RABI-767 to fill a critical, unmet clinical need for a treatment for acute pancreatitis (AP).

Lamassu's proposed treatment is designed to mitigate the systemic toxicity and organ failure associated with acute pancreatitis that causes lengthy hospitalization, organ failure, and death, thus saving both lives and healthcare system resources. Funding from the NIH will enable Lamassu to further its translational research, to bring RABI-767 to human trials, and to partner with clinical and commercial development partners.

"Being awarded this SBIR grant is further validation of Lamassu's scientific approach and novel business model as well as the expertise and ability of the Lamassu team to accelerate the development of RABI-767 to bring this much needed treatment to AP patients, and save lives" said Gabi Hanna, MD, CEO and Co-Founder of Lamassu. "Lamassu is currently focused on developing this compound through preclinical safety testing in preparation for definitive clinical trials."

The NIH SBIRP grant follows Lamassu's recent announcement that it raised nearly $2.7 million in series A financing. "Investors continue to show great confidence in our innovative approach to accelerating promising potential therapies from translational research to human clinical trials in the most efficient and effective way possible," said Dr. Hanna.

About Acute Pancreatitis

Acute Pancreatitis is a leading cause of emergency department visits and gastrointestinal hospital admissions in the United States, accounting for more than 330,000 patient admissions annually1. Currently, there is no available treatment, and management of complications is costly. Complications of severe acute pancreatitis include pancreatic fluid collections, necrosis, pseudocysts, abscesses, pancreatic fistulas, and hemorrhage, and require a multidisciplinary approach, including diagnostic, interventional, and surgical methods. Twenty-five percent, or approximately 80,000 patients, develop systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), which is a risk factor for severe acute pancreatitis, defined by organ failure, which often leads to death.2 The annual incidence of AP is increasing faster than population growth as a result of the increasing prevalence of obesity3, with a projected cost to the healthcare system and overall economy of multiple billions of dollars. 

About Lamassu Pharma

Lamassu Pharma was established to fill the gap in drug development between academic post discovery research and proof-of-concept clinical trial. Lamassu's focus on translational drug development represents a novel approach to the identification of academic assets that have the potential to respond to critical, unmet clinical needs and need a commercial partner to further advance. Lamassu's innovative accelerated development business model provides a link between academic projects and commercialization partners for a planned portfolio of development projects, the management team is led by Dr. Gabi Hanna, a serial entrepreneur with long successful experience in early drug development and translational research, Dr. Hanna is the executive director of Duke University Preclinical Translational Unit.  

Media Contact:Erik Yorke Interdependence Public Relations [email protected] (330) 416-2461

Corporate Contact: Gabi Hanna President; Lamassu Pharma LLC [email protected]


1 Peery AF, Crockett SD, Barritt AS, et al. Burden of gastrointestinal, liver, and pancreatic diseases in the United States. Gastroenterology. 2015;149:1731–1741. 2 Zhu AJ, Shi JS, Sun XJ. Organ failure associated with severe acute pancreatitis. World J Gastroenterol. 2003;9(11):2570-2573. doi:10.3748/wjg.v9.i11.2570 3 Toouli J, Brooke-Smith M, Bassi C, et al. Guidelines for the management of acute pancreatitis. J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2002; 17 Suppl:S15.

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SOURCE Lamassu Pharma

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