Israeli holding company Asana Bio Group, now taking its first steps towards growing cannabis in Malta, has invested $2.3 million in founding Lumir Lab, a company that will run a laboratory for research on cannabinoids, the active ingredients in the cannabis plant. The laboratory is designed to provide analysis services for the composition of active ingredients in the cannabis plant and adaptation of its strains to specific diseases. The laboratory will be based on the abilities of Hebrew University Prof. Lumir Hanus, a cannabis researcher who has worked for decades with the biggest authority on medical cannabis, Prof. Raphael Mechoulam. During his 50 years of research, Hanus has directed and isolated over 1,000 active ingredients in the plant, according to the company.
The laboratory company will be located on the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s biotech campus, but will be a private company not owned by the university. The CEO of Lumir Lab, Yotam Hod, has no background in cannabis or drug development; he is also a partner in and CEO of Asana Bio, the owners of Lumir Lab. Dr Yehoshua Maor joined as Interim CTO. Dr Yehoshua Maor’s MSc and PhD were done in the lab of Prof. Raphael Mechoulam with several international awards in cannabinoid innovation.
Lumir Lab’s first cooperative effort will be with Gynica, a research and development company for treatment of endometriosis, a painful disease in which the layer of tissue that normally covers the inside of the uterus grows outside of it. Gynica was founded by Prof. Moshe Hod, Yotam. Lumir Lab will help Gynica detect the best composition of active ingredients in cannabis for treating endometriosis and which strains of cannabis contain this composition. The laboratory does research only on plants and cells, but it can mediate between Gynica and Hadassah Medical Center in carrying out research on animals and people, if the product reaches this stage. In November, Strainprint™ Technologies, the leader in cannabis data and analytics, Lumir Lab and Gynica Announce Clinical Trial Partnership Establishing World’s First and Largest Database of Medical Cannabis Effects on Women. The intention of the study is to develop clinically-validated cannabinoid-based products that can be approved for international distribution. Gynica holds a federal license by the Israeli Ministry of Health to research the effects of cannabinoids on women’s health and gynecological disorders.
“Endometriosis remains one of the most misdiagnosed and least understood medical conditions, and currently, there is no cure,” said Professor Hod. “Strainprint’s early observational studies show that medical cannabis treatment has a positive effect on symptoms related to endometriosis, but much more research is required. Our objective is to identify which active cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, in relative combination, provide the most effective relief, reduce pain and prevent reoccurrence.”
Simultaneous studies in both Israel and Canada will leverage Strainprint’s research-ready platform to provide ethics approval, validated questionnaires, custom surveys, real-time treatment tracking and data visualization in support of in-clinic visits. Gynica Senior scientist, Dr. Sari Prutchi Sagiv, will develop the joint-study protocol to be used for clinical trial applications in both countries, based on a common product formulation. Drawing first from Strainprint’s 900,000+ real-time patient outcomes and 40 million medical cannabis data points, Lumir Lab will narrow and validate a formulation to focus on at the study. Together, the parties will use Strainprint’s recently launched community portal to recruit up to 1,000 patients in each country.
Dr. Prutchi Sagiv says “The combination of Strainprint’s big data analytics combined with Gynica’s scientific team and clinical research capabilities create a unique and innovative approach for providing evidence-based products to patients worldwide, and moreover for women who are under-treated by current solutions.”
“It’s truly amazing for all of us at Strainprint to get to work with this team of world-renowned scientists and doctors on such a significant medical issue,” said Strainprint CEO, Andrew Muroff. “We’re committed to helping improve the lives of millions of women suffering from endometriosis.”
Gynica, Lumir Lab and Strainprint expect the clinical study to run on Q2 of 2019.