Ocean Biomedical (NASDAQ: OCEA) Shares Detailed Research Data on Anti-Tumor Pathway Discoveries and Their Potential for Treatment of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Metastatic Melanoma, and Glioblastoma by Scientific Co-founder

Providence, RI, March 09, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ocean Biomedical, Inc. (NASDAQ: OCEA). Ocean Biomedical’s Scientific Co-founder, Dr. Jack A. Elias, MD, presented details of his previously published discoveries that have potential application for tumor suppression across multiple cancer pathways at the Legorreta Cancer Center’s recent meeting in Providence. In his talk, Dr. Elias focused on his lab’s groundbreaking work on understanding the development and progression of lung cancer, especially the role of Chitinase 3-like-1 (CHI3L1). He also shared details of his novel therapeutic discoveries that show the efficacy of monospecific and bispecific antibodies against CHI3L1 and PD-1 as therapies for non-small cell lung cancer, and glioblastoma multiforme. Ocean Biomedical is currently working to move these antibody therapeutic discoveries towards Phase 1 clinical trials.

In his recent talk, Dr. Elias shared details of his team’s discoveries of the role CHI3L1 in regulating primary and metastatic lung cancer, glioblastoma multiforme, and broader oncogenic pathways. He discussed the inverse correlation of circulating CHI3L1 with prognosis for disease progression and survival, and the step-by-step experimentation done to create effective monospecific antibodies, and then a powerful bispecific antibody that has a multiplicative effect on reducing tumor by triggering tumor apoptosis in metastatic melanoma, glioblastoma, and non-small cell lung cancer.

In his talk, Dr. Elias additionally shared the potential for extending the regulation of this “master anti-tumor pathway” to other cancers, and promising research that reveals an additional anti-tumor pathway targeting T-cell co-stimulation using the inducible co-stimulator (ICOS) and its ligand ICOSL, and Cluster of Differentiation 28 (CD28) and its ligands B7-1 and B7-2. The Methods and Compositions patents that have been granted to Dr. Elias for these mono-specific and bi-specific antibody approaches have been granted for use in multiple cancer types, including Prostate Cancer, Colon Cancer, Rectal Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Kidney Cancer, Breast Cancer, Glioblastoma, Melanoma, Malignant Melanoma, and Lung Cancer.

Dr. Elias, who is the former Chair of Yale’s Department of Medicine, and the Dean Emeritus of Medicine and Biological Sciences at Brown University summed up his team’s work saying, “It was great to share the details of our work with colleagues at the Legorreta Cancer Center. In narrowing in on major pathways that are applicable across cancer types, we believe we are making discoveries that will drive treatment and patient outcomes forward. Realizing that if you control CHI3L1, you don’t just control one anti-cancer pathway, you simultaneously control many anti-cancer pathways is an unprecedented leap forward and we are very pleased to be accelerating this research with Ocean Biomedical.”

“We are excited to see the reactions to Dr. Elias's discoveries that CHI3L1 is a critical regulator of T-cell activity. These therapies have the potential to save lives of people affected not just by lung metastasis, and melanoma, but also non-small cell lung cancer, glioblastoma and other forms of cancer,” said Dr. Chirinjeev Kathuria, co-founder and Executive Chairman. 

Malignant melanoma, a very serious skin cancer with a 22.5% five-year survival for patients with Stage IV disease, can metastasize to other organs. Once it has spread to other organs, it is difficult to treat – in some cases, it can spread to the lungs and result in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), a major unmet medical need that accounts for 85% of pulmonary malignancies and affects approximately 450,000 individuals. In over 50% of affected NSCLC patients, tumors are not diagnosed until the advanced stages, with metastatic spread that precludes curative surgical resection.

Recent studies of NSCLC have highlighted the effectiveness of immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICPI), therapies that block cancer-proliferating proteins like CHI3L1 and help the patient’s body recognize and attack cancer cells. Unfortunately, only a minority of patients respond to these therapies and the responses are often not durable.

Recent studies from Ocean Biomedical have demonstrated that CHI3L1 is a critical regulator of a number of key cancer-causing pathways, highlighting its ability to inhibit tumor cell death (apoptosis), its inhibition of the expression of the tumor suppressors P53 and PTEN and its stimulation of the B-RAF protooncogene. Most recently Dr. Elias’s research team has discovered that CHI3L1 is a “master regulator” of ICPI, including key elements of the PD-1 and CTLA4 pathways. In accord with the importance of these pathways, Ocean has also generated antibodies: 1.) a monoclonal antibody against CHI3L1, 2.) bispecific antibodies that simultaneously target CHI3L1 and PD-1, and 3.) a new bispecific antibody that simultaneously targets CHI3L1 and CTLA4. The impressive ability of these bispecific antibodies to control primary and metastatic lung cancer in murine experimental modeling systems have been discussed in detail in an earlier article in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, and this expanded approach in Frontiers in Immunology.

Suren Ajjarapu, a Director of Ocean Biomedical commented, “Immunotherapy is the future of cancer care, and we are proud to be partnering with Dr. Elias in advancing the development of his cancer treatments, along with his fibrosis treatments, and our global malaria program. We look forward to bringing all of these therapies to patients as Ocean Biomedical moves forward, for the long-term shareholder value and the continued advancement of medical science.”

About Ocean Biomedical

Ocean Biomedical, Inc. is a Providence, Rhode Island-based biopharma company with an innovative business model that accelerates the development and commercialization of scientifically compelling assets from research universities and medical centers. Ocean Biomedical deploys the funding and expertise to move new therapeutic candidates efficiently from the laboratory to the clinic, to the world. Ocean Biomedical is currently developing five promising discoveries that have the potential to achieve life-changing outcomes in lung cancer, brain cancer, pulmonary fibrosis, and the prevention and treatment of malaria. The Ocean Biomedical team is working on solving some of the world’s toughest problems, for the people who need it most.

To learn more, visit www.oceanbiomedical.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

The information included herein and in any oral statements made in connection herewith include “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of words such as “estimate,” “plan,” “project,” “forecast,” “intend,” “will,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “seek,” “target” or other similar expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters, although not all forward-looking statements contain such identifying words. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding estimates and forecasts of financial and performance metrics and expectations. These statements are based on various assumptions, whether or not identified herein, and on the current expectations of the Company’s management and are not predictions of actual performance. These forward-looking statements are provided for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to serve as, and must not be relied on by any investor as, a guarantee, an assurance, a prediction or a definitive statement of fact or probability. Actual events and circumstances are difficult or impossible to predict and will differ from assumptions.

The announced discoveries were based solely on laboratory and animal studies. Ocean Biomedical has not conducted any studies that show similar efficacy or safety in humans. There can be no assurances that this treatment will prove safe or effective in humans, and that any clinical benefits of this treatment is subject to clinical trials and ultimate approval of its use in patients by the FDA. Such approval, if granted, could be years away.

Forward-looking statements are predictions, projections and other statements about future events that are based on current expectations and assumptions and, as a result, are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, conditions or results, and involve a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other important factors, many of which are outside the control of the Company that could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. Important factors, among others, that may affect actual results or outcomes include (i) the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against the Company; (ii) changes in the markets in which the Company competes, including with respect to its competitive landscape, technology evolution, or regulatory changes; (iii) changes in domestic and global general economic conditions; (iv) risk that the Company may not be able to execute its growth strategies; (v) risks related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and response, including supply chain disruptions; (vi) risk that the Company may not be able to develop and maintain effective internal controls; (vii) the risk that the Company may fail to keep pace with rapid technological developments to provide new and innovative products and services or make substantial investments in unsuccessful new products and services; (viii) the ability to develop, license or acquire new therapeutics; (ix) the risk that the Company will need to raise additional capital to execute its business plan, which may not be available on acceptable terms or at all; (x) the risk that the Company experiences difficulties in managing its growth and expanding operations; (xi) the risk of product liability or regulatory lawsuits or proceedings relating to the Company’s business; (xii) the risk of cyber security or foreign exchange losses; (xiii) the risk that the Company is unable to secure or protect its intellectual property.

The foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive. You should carefully consider the foregoing factors and the other risks and uncertainties that are described in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021 and its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2022, and which are described in the “Risk Factors” section of the Company’s definitive proxy statement filed by the Company on January 12, 2023, and other documents to be filed by the Company from time to time with the SEC and which are and will be available at www.sec.gov. These filings identify and address other important risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events and results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company’s assessments as of any date subsequent to the date of this filing. Accordingly, undue reliance should not be placed upon the forward-looking statements.

Ocean Biomedical Investor Relations

Ocean Biomedical Media Relations

Kevin Kertscher
Communications Director


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