Categories Health Care, Research Summary

Ocean Biomedical (NASDAQ: OCEA) Research Summary

Ocean Biomedical, Inc. (NASDAQ: OCEA) is a new-generation biotechnology firm that works to accelerate the development of new therapies by partnering with researchers and healthcare institutions. The focus of the partnerships is to commercialize drug candidates by bringing together the resources, primarily in the fields of oncology, fibrosis, and malaria.

The Company

In order to create mutual value for shareholders and licensing partners, Ocean is organized around a ‘licensing and subsidiary’ structure. Under the partnerships, expertise and financial resources are deployed for transferring new medicines efficiently from laboratories to healthcare facilities. Founded by Dr. Chirinjeev Kathuria, who is also the executive chairman, Ocean is headquartered in Rhode Island. The company became a public entity in February 2023, around four years after it was established, and the stock trades on the Nasdaq stock market under the symbol OCEA. Elizabeth Ng serves as the chief executive officer.

Programs

Currently, the product candidates consist of preclinical programs with the potential for broad application in the treatment of malaria, fibrosis, and various types of cancers.

Cancer Program: The company advances immunotherapies for lung, brain, and other cancers while continuing to enhance the understanding of the broad anti-tumor mechanisms behind its anti-CHi3L1 discoveries. Studies have confirmed the effectiveness of anti-CHi3L1 in brain cancer, creating a 60% reduction in tumor growth in the human glioblastoma multiforme stem cell model in vivo.

Malaria Program: Ocean is pushing its discovery science forward on several fronts to develop new solutions to address the urgent global need to develop more effective therapies for malaria treatment. That includes advancing the knowledge and control of the mechanisms by which the company’s PfGARP antigen induces malaria parasite death and optimizing/developing an mRNA vaccine candidate based on discoveries of PfGARP, PfSEA, and another antigen that may be able to simultaneously target the malaria parasite at different stages of the blood cycle.

Fibrosis Program: Another focus area for the company is to address the standard of care and treatment options for patients suffering from Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. There are indications that its candidate for treating IPF may also prove effective against other fibrotic diseases. The progress achieved in the program includes testing the anti-fibrotic treatment candidate OCF-203, which has generated impressive reductions of fibrosis in multiple models and reduced collagen accumulation by 85%-90%.

Updates

In May 2024, the company said its scientific co-founder Dr. Jonathan Kurti was granted a new patent for his malaria therapeutic antibody discoveries, targeted to both prevent malaria infection and treat severe malaria. The patent is significant because it comes at a time when common strains of malaria are showing signs of resistance to current Artemisinin-based drugs. The new therapeutics approach causes parasite death at a key stage in the malarial cycle, triggering programmed cell death through apoptosis.

Stock

Shares of Ocean Biomedical began trading on the Nasdaq stock market under the ticker symbol ‘OCEA’ on February 15, 2023, following a reverse merger with special purpose acquisition company Aesther Healthcare Acquisition Corp. The stock is covered by analyst firms EF Hutton, Fundamental Research Corp., and Taglich Brothers, providing insights into the company’s performance and growth prospects. As of May 29, 2024, the stock’s value more than doubled since the beginning of the year. Meanwhile, it has lost about 71% in the past twelve months.

Conclusion

The business stands to benefit from the aging population which drives the demand for new and effective medicines. The ongoing digitization of the drug development process can speed up clinical trials and positively influence the outcomes. Ocean follows a unique business model with solid growth prospects, but it is not immune to the growing competition in the healthcare market. In general, certain new trends in the pharmaceutical sector like consolidations can be challenging for companies engaged in the development and commercialization of medicines.

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