Biotechnology company Ocean Biomedical, Inc. (NASDAQ: OCEA) on Monday said its scientific co-founder Dr. Jack Elias has been granted a new, broad US patent for bispecific antibodies targeting chitinase 3-like-1 (CHi3L1) and programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1), a promising new approach that has emerged from prior breakthrough discoveries that CHi3L1 is a ‘master regulator’ of tumor growth in multiple visceral cancers.
The announcement comes the day on which the company joins the Russell 2000 Index. Earlier Ocean Biomedical was included in the list of index additions posted by FTSE Russell. The company is focused on clinical programs in oncology, fibrosis, infectious disease, and inflammation. The business model involves partnerships with scientists, research universities, and medical centers for developing and commercializing their discoveries.
Commenting on the patent award, Ocean Biomedical’s co-founder and executive chairman Chirinjeev Kathuria said, “These discoveries have the potential to save thousands of lives of people affected not just by lung metastasis and melanoma but also by glioblastoma and other forms of cancer.”
Inhibition of CHi3L1
The new bispecific patent has been granted for prostate cancer, colon cancer, rectal cancer, ovarian cancer, kidney cancer, breast cancer, glioblastoma, melanoma, and lung cancer. The newest claims dovetail with and fortify recently issued patents with claims coverage focused on the composition of matter of monoclonal antibodies targeting and inhibiting CHi3L1.
The company’s bispecific antibody is a pioneering immunotherapy approach that demonstrates promising synergy by combining its proprietary anti-Chi3L1 antibody with existing immune checkpoint inhibitors that target PD-1 in a bispecific-antibody format. These bispecific antibodies have been shown to synergistically kill tumor cells at levels dramatically exceeding the effectiveness of either the anti-Chi3L1 antibody or the anti-PD-1 antibody alone — in multiple cancer types and multiple animal models.
(Source: Ocean Biomedical, Inc.)
“This bispecific antibody pathway discovery is a monumental leap forward. By controlling CHi3L1 and concurrently targeting PD-1, you don’t just control one anti-cancer pathway, you simultaneously control many anti-cancer pathways. We believe our discoveries will advance cancer research, and eventually treatment and patient outcomes, forward,” said Dr. Elias.
The significance of Ocean Biomedical’s breakthrough is that it comes at a critical time for the evolving immuno-oncology sector, which is working to realize the promise of immune checkpoint inhibition. The current challenges include the limited number of cancer patients demonstrating initial responses and the significant number of responders relapsing following classic immune checkpoint blockade.
Ocean Biomedical’s innovative approach combines the company’s anti-Chi3L1 antibody with classic immune checkpoint blockade, and the initial magnitude and duration of response from its bispecific immunotherapy treatment in multiple animal models of visceral cancer was synergistically enhanced compared to immune checkpoint blockade alone.
“Seeing Dr. Elias’ revolutionary work receive this important patent is exciting. The Ocean Biomedical team is working to take the systematic steps needed to progress the anti-CHi3L1 bispecific antibodies into the clinic to potentially become powerful new cancer therapeutics,” said Ocean Biomedical’s CEO, Elizabeth Ng.
Last week, the company announced that Dr. Elias has received notice from the European Patent Office, of its intention to grant European patent rights for methods and compositions relating to the treatment of fibrosis using Ocean’s anti-Chitinase-1 small molecule candidate.
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