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developing therapeutics for AML
and other life-threatening leukemias

About Us

Rasna Therapeutics was formed in 2013 by a highly experienced industry team together with field-leading scientists, to focus on developing therapeutics to address the high unmet need that exists for AML and other forms of leukemia.

Our primary indication is acute myeloid leukemia (AML) which may be fatal within weeks to months, has a 5-year survival rate of only about 25% and very poor prospects for long-term survival of patients.

Our clinical program is based around three druggable intervention points with potential to improve safety and efficacy of current AML combination therapies.

Rasna is listed as OTCQB:RASP.

Our corporate headquarters are based in New York, NY, while our research and development team is located at our laboratory facilities in Doylestown Pennsylvania.

Investor Presentation

2013

Founded

2016

Quoted OTCQB:RASP

AML

Focused on Acute Myeloid Leukemia and other blood cancers

3

Lead programmes in the clinic, each targeting a key regulator of cancer

Therapeutic Focus

What is Leukemia?

  • “Leukemia” is the name given to a broad group of cancers where blood cells proliferate abnormally
  • Leukemia is the fifth most common cause of cancer death in men and sixth most common cause of cancer death in women. ​
  • According to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, in the United States, around 62,000 new diagnoses and 24,500 deaths are expected in 2017 from Leukemia.
  • Leukemia is caused by mutation of DNA in bone marrow stem cells which results in the abnormal proliferation of white blood cells (leukocytes). Mutations may occur spontaneously, or as a result of exposure to ionizing radiation or carcinogens.
  • Leukemia is deadly because as the disease progresses, leukemic cells ultimately overwhelm the bone marrow, enter the bloodstream and become invasive to other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, and central nervous system.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia

  • Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), our primary indication, is the most common type of acute leukemia in adults and progresses rapidly.
  • Estimated new cases and deaths from AML in the United States in 2017​

    New Cases: 21,380​
    Deaths: 10,590
  • A sub-type of leukemia where the bone marrow starts to make abnormal myeloblasts, red blood cells or platelets.
  • Untreated, may be fatal within weeks to months, with a 5-year survival rate of ~25%​ and long term survival in aged patients of almost zero.
  • Despite advances in treatment, there is currently a high risk of relapse and serious side effects from each treatment round

Source: American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts and Figures 2017.

LEUKEMIA SUB-TYPES

  MYELOGENOUS LYMPHOCYTIC  
Acute

Acute Myeloid

  • AML is most common in adults, especially men
  • Makes up 28% cases
  • Lowest five-year survival rate of the four main leukemia sub-types, at only 26%

Acute Lymphocytic

  • ALL is more common among children
  • Makes up 13% cases
  • Five-year survival rate of 70%
44% of cases

Chronic Myeloid

  • CML occurs predominantly in adults and is rare in children
  • Makes up 13% cases
  • Five-year survival rate of 63%

Chronic Lymphocytic

  • CLL is most common in adults especially men above 55 years of age
  • Makes up 30% cases
  • Five-year survival rate of ~85%
43% of cases

 

Our Team

Executive Leadership

Kunwar Shailubhai PhD

Kunwar Shailubhai PhD

Chief Executive Officer

Kunwar Shailubhai, Ph.D., M.B.A. is Chief Executive Officer of Rasna Therapeutics. Dr. Shailubhai brings more than 25 years of experience within the life science industry, combined with a distinguished track record of success in translating drugs from concept through commercialization to market.

Dr. Shailubhai has been serving as a member of board of Rasna since 2015. He actively played key roles in development of growth strategies through several key licensings of technologies and drug candidates.

Dr. Shailubhai also serves as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer of Tiziana Life Sciences plc. As co-founder, EVP and CSO of Synergy Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SGYP) he led the non-clinical, CMC and clinical development of Trulance™ from inception to approval by the FDA, having co-invented and pioneered Synergy’s platform technology for functional GI disorders,inflammatory bowel disease, GI cancer and other human diseases.  Dr. Shailubhai as the chief architect of the IP estate, directed all aspects of IP management, including timely submission of patent applications, directing office actions and coordinating with IP attorneys.

Earlier, from 2003 until 2008, Dr. Shailubhai served as Senior Vice President, Drug Discovery and from 2001 to 2003, he held the position of Vice President, Drug Discovery at Synergy, where he pioneered therapeutic applications of GC-C agonists in a variety of human diseases such as Asthma, COPD and cholesterol lowering.

Prior to Synergy, he was with Monsanto Company, serving as Group Leader, Cancer Prevention and previously served as a Senior Staff Fellow at the National Institutes of Health, and as an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland.

Dr. Shailubhai received his Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Baroda, India, and his MBA from the University of Missouri, St. Louis. He has more than 20 issued patents and over 50 peer-reviewed publications.

Tiziano Lazzaretti

Tiziano Lazzaretti

Chief Financial Officer

Mr Lazzaretti has extensive experience in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry and joined Rasna from Pharmentis Srl, a spin-off from Teva Ratiopharm, where he served as Group Finance Director from 2011. Prior to this, Mr Lazzaretti was Executive Director at Alliance Boots Healthcare, and held senior positions at Accenture, SNIA Spa and Fiat Group.

Mr Lazzaretti has a Bachelor of Science (BSc Hons) in Accounting and Finance from the University of Turin, Italy, was awarded a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from Bocconi University, Milan and studied Corporate Finance at the London Business School.

Senior Management

Fayez M. Hamzeh, MD, PhD

Fayez M. Hamzeh, MD, PhD

Senior Vice President Clinical Development

Before joining Tiziana Life Sciences, Dr. Fayez Hamzeh served as Head of Clinical Trials Planning and Implementation Strategy of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Roche Innovation Center, New York from 2015 to 2017. During this period Dr. Hamzeh’s focus was Phase I and Phase II clinical trials in immunology, hepatology and infectious diseases. Dr. Hamzeh served as a Group Medical Director and Head of Infectious Disease, Transplantation and Hepatology at Genentech Inc, South San Francisco from 2009 through 2011 and 2013 through 2015. Dr. Hamzeh served as a Group Medical Director in Genentech Medical Affairs and was responsible for glioblastoma and avastin pan tumor indications. Dr. Hamzeh served as Sr. Medical Director of Hepatology, Transplantation and Infectious Diseases at Roche Pharmaceutical, Nutley NJ from 2003 through 2009. During this period, Dr. Hamzeh was responsible for clinical trials in virology focusing on anti-HIV, anti-influenza, anti-cytomegalovirus, anti-HCV and anti-HBV drugs. Prior to joining the industry in 2003, Dr. Hamzeh served as an Assistant professor of Medicine and Pharmacology and Molecular Therapeutics at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore MD.

During his academic and industry career, Dr. Hamzeh served on many National Institute of Health scientific steering committees including, AIDS Clinical Trials Group, AIDS Malignancy Consortium, Hepatitis-C (HALT-C) Scientific Steering Committee. Dr. Hamzeh received his MD degree in 1981 from the University of Jordan Medical School and his PhD from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1990.  

Jules Jacob

Jules Jacob

Jules Jacob Senior Director of Chemistry, Manufacturing, Controls & Non-Clinical Development

Jules Jacob has 30 years of drug development experience and was previously Senior Director, Product Development at Aprecia Pharmaceuticals where he headed development of Spritam®, the first FDA-approved dosage form manufactured using 3-Dimensional Printing and other 505(b)(2) pipeline products. Prior to that Mr. Jacob was Director of Formulation Development at Panacos Pharmaceuticals, developing first-in-class maturation inhibitors for treatment of HIV and Director of Research and Development and Director of Technology Development at Spherics Pharmaceuticals developing bioadhesive dosage forms for treatment of CNS disorders, following the 505 (b)(2) regulatory pathway.

Mr. Jacob holds over 30 issued patents (US and international) and 38 US patent applications in the fields of drug delivery (proteins, peptides, DNA), nanoencapsulation, microencapsulation, solid oral dosage formulation, polymer compositions, gene therapy, tumor immunotherapy, protein micronization and formulation, imaging and bioadhesion. He has authored more than 30 scientific articles and book chapters and was Grand Award winner of the 2005 Eurand-CRS sponsored “Novel Approaches in Industrial Oral Drug Delivery Award”.  Mr. Jacob completed his undergraduate degree and graduate education in biological and medical sciences at Brown University and has an active visiting faculty appointment in the Department of Molecular Pharmacolgy, Physiology and Biotechnology at Brown.

E. Priya Eddy PhD DABT

E. Priya Eddy PhD DABT

Senior Director, Safety & Toxicology

Dr. Eddy has over 20 years of experience in drug discovery and development. Prior to joining Tiziana, Dr. Eddy served as Senior Director, Toxicology and Safety Pharmacology at Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc. and was responsible for toxicology, ADME/PK and safety pharmacology studies to support NDA submission of dolcanatide. She also contributed to the NDA for Trulance™. Her work at Synergy also included the development of a delayed release formulation for dolcanatide and she was involved in the supply of API for GLP and feasibility studies.

Prior to Synergy, Dr. Eddy worked at SmithKline Beecham, Millennium Pharmaceuticals and Endo Pharmaceuticals in the areas of drug discovery and development including early clinical development. She received her Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry and is a board certified toxicologist of the American Board of Toxicology. Before joining the pharmaceutical industry she worked at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland OH in the area of chemical carcinogenesis and environmental health sciences.

Vaseem A. Palejwala PhD

Vaseem A. Palejwala PhD

Director, Discovery and Preclinical Research

Dr. Palejwala has 18 years of experience in drug discovery and development. Since 2012, Dr. Palejwala served as Director of Discovery and Preclinical Research at Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc. where he actively contributed to establishing preclinical animal models for testing therapeutic efficacy and mechanism of action of plecanatide (Trulance™) and dolcanatide in the gastrointestinal tract. He also prepared the preclinical pharmacology section of NDA for Trulance™.

From 2001 - 2012, Dr. Palejwala served as Discovery Scientist/Manager at Sanofi Pharmaceuticals contributing to advancing small molecule and biologic programs in immunology, inflammation, oncology, CNS and metabolic disorders. He contributed to establishing and managing high throughput gene expression profiling platform capabilities at Sanofi and collaborated/contributed in cross-cultural/cross-functional team settings.

Dr. Palejwala received his Ph.D. degree in Microbiology from the M. S. University of Baroda in India and post-doctoral training in Molecular Genetics at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey.

Scientific Advisors

Brunangelo Falini MD

Brunangelo Falini MD

University of Perugia

Napoleone Ferrara MD

Napoleone Ferrara MD

UC San Diego

Roberto Pellicciari PhD

Roberto Pellicciari PhD

University of Perugia

Board

Alessandro Padova PhD

Alessandro Padova PhD

Chairman

Kunwar Shailubhai PhD

Kunwar Shailubhai PhD

Chief Executive Officer

Kunwar Shailubhai, Ph.D., M.B.A. is Chief Executive Officer of Rasna Therapeutics. Dr. Shailubhai brings more than 25 years of experience within the life science industry, combined with a distinguished track record of success in translating drugs from concept through commercialization to market.

Dr. Shailubhai has been serving as a member of board of Rasna since 2015. He actively played key roles in development of growth strategies through several key licensings of technologies and drug candidates.

Dr. Shailubhai also serves as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer of Tiziana Life Sciences plc. As co-founder, EVP and CSO of Synergy Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SGYP) he led the non-clinical, CMC and clinical development of Trulance™ from inception to approval by the FDA, having co-invented and pioneered Synergy’s platform technology for functional GI disorders,inflammatory bowel disease, GI cancer and other human diseases.  Dr. Shailubhai as the chief architect of the IP estate, directed all aspects of IP management, including timely submission of patent applications, directing office actions and coordinating with IP attorneys.

Earlier, from 2003 until 2008, Dr. Shailubhai served as Senior Vice President, Drug Discovery and from 2001 to 2003, he held the position of Vice President, Drug Discovery at Synergy, where he pioneered therapeutic applications of GC-C agonists in a variety of human diseases such as Asthma, COPD and cholesterol lowering.

Prior to Synergy, he was with Monsanto Company, serving as Group Leader, Cancer Prevention and previously served as a Senior Staff Fellow at the National Institutes of Health, and as an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland.

Dr. Shailubhai received his Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Baroda, India, and his MBA from the University of Missouri, St. Louis. He has more than 20 issued patents and over 50 peer-reviewed publications.

John Alex Martin

John Alex Martin

Director

John Brancaccio

John Brancaccio

Director

R&D Pipeline

RASP-101

FORMULATED RASP-101

The original drug dactinomycin (Cosmegen®) has shown complete remission in 40% of AML patients (N=10)

Learn more

RASP-201

LSD1
LYSINE-SPECIFIC
DEMETHYLASE 1

Novel inhibitors of LSD-1, a pathway that blocks differentiation and confers a poor prognosis in AML. LSD-1 has already been identified as a important druggable target

Learn more

RASP-301

NPM1
NUCLEOPHOSMIN

A first in class NCE for NPM1, currently at the pre-clinical stage, this orally available small molecule has the potential to treat refractory AML with reduced toxicity.

Learn more

Contact Us

US HEAD OFFICE

420 Lexington Avenue, Suite 2525
New York, NY 10170
USA

info@rasna.com \\ Tel: [+1] (646) 396-4080

UK HEAD OFFICE

55 Park Lane
London W1K 1NA
United Kingdom

info@rasna.com \\ Tel: [+44] (0) 207 495 2379

R&D Center

Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center of Bucks County
3805 Old Easton RD
Doylestown, PA 18902-8400
USA

info@rasna.com \\ Tel: [+1] (215) 589-6300