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Blacksburg startup’s drug shown safe in first human trial

Landos Biopharma, a Blacksburg biotech firm developing a new drug, announced this week that it has successfully completed Phase I clinical trials and is moving on to Phase II.

The drug, called BT-11, is advertised as a novel way to treat Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Landos focuses on therapies for autoimmune diseases and emerged in 2017 with Virginia Tech scientist — and repeat entrepreneur — Josep Bassaganya-Riera at the helm and $10 million in funding from New York investment firm Perceptive Advisors.

The drug, which is taken orally, showed promise during early lab tests, but the path toward U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval is long and expensive.

Landos took the first step in 2018 with a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, which focused on drug safety with 70 healthy volunteers.

According to a news release, the results have been published in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, also known as IBD Journal, in affiliation with the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. It is the first journal dedicated exclusively to IBD, according to the publication website.

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