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. Drug development staff will join the team.
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.
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 Hod's father. 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.
Yotam Hod says that studies exist showing that cannabis affects various symptoms of endometriosis.
This cooperation is an example of what Lumir Lab is interested in. The company is negotiating with two parties, one in Israel and one overseas, for similar cooperative efforts.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on October 15, 2018
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