Accelerating cures. Expanding access.
Lumen’s unique drug development environment radically reduces the time and investment required for biologic drug development.
Doing what's never been done before
Researchers around the world have long suspected that spirulina would be a valuable tool for making biologic drugs if only it could be engineered, but these efforts failed for decades. Lumen was the ﬁrst to achieve this breakthrough, and this in turn makes orally delivered biologics commercially viable for the first time.
Daily, high-dose biologic drug
We design and manufacture therapeutics against disease targets that have been inaccessible to the biopharmaceutical industry because of the astonishingly high cost of traditional methods. Now, for the first time, Lumen can make antibodies and other biologics at a cost that allows for daily, high-dose, oral and topical delivery.
Our current programs target markets that are enormous, the treatment modes of action are well researched, and the unmet medical need is obvious.
How it works
Being extraordinarily high in soluble protein, spirulina cells are able to express far higher amounts of therapeutic proteins than any other food crop (>60%).
A gene encoding the therapeutic molecule (for example, an antibody) is introduced into the spirulina chromosome. When that strain of spirulina is grown, the cell manufactures the therapeutic protein and stores it away inside the cell.
The production system requires only water, salt, CO2 and light, so it is cheap and rapidly scalable. Harvesting is done by spray-drying the biomass into a powder comprised of spirulina cells, each one ﬁlled with a therapeutic protein "payload." The entire process is done at our integrated Seattle lab and cGMP plant, which accelerates pre-clinical and clinical development.
This powder can be packed into dose-speciﬁc capsules, which don't require refrigeration and are shelf-stable at room temperature. While the cells do not survive the drying process, the cell membrane protects the therapeutic proteins during transit through the stomach when orally delivered, and releases them in the small intestine where they can bind to and neutralize their disease targets.
Our patented technology enables us to manufacture orally delivered biologic drugs at a cost that’s two to three orders of magnitude lower than traditional biotech manufacturing systems.
Better tools create better outcomes
Time, risk and money are the three wild cards of drug development. Lumen’s unique drug development environment improves all three because of the proven safety of the expression host (spirulina) and the speed at which we’re able to develop and manufacture new biologics.
The long safety record of both spirulina and orally delivered biologics makes our drugs far less risky for study volunteers and patients. And post-approval, our patented technology enables us to manufacture orally delivered biologic drugs at a cost that’s two to three orders of magnitude lower than traditional biotech manufacturing systems.
Taken together, these advantages let us develop solutions for diseases that have long frustrated researchers hampered by the limitations of traditional drug development tools.
How far does $1,000 in manufacturing costs go?