Biopharmaceutical company Ocean Biomedical (NASDAQ: OCEA) on Thursday said it is expected to be added to the Russell 2000 Index, effective after the US market opens on June 26, 2023. FTSE Russell recently posted a preliminary list of index additions, including Ocean Biomedical. The addition is part of the annual reconstitution of the Russell stock indexes. Ocean Biomedical’s stock gained about 10% in the premarket on Thursday.
The Russell 2000 index is a widely followed measure of the overall performance of small-cap stocks. The Russell indexes, which are part of global index provider FTSE Russell, are used by investment managers and institutional investors for index funds and as benchmarks for active investment strategies. Around $12.1 trillion in assets are benchmarked against Russell’s US indexes.
Dr. Chirinjeev Kathuria, Ocean Biomedical’s co-founder and executive chairman, said, “Our company was founded to build better, more streamlined processes for bringing great discoveries to market. We are pleased to be included in the Russell 2000 because we believe it will help us advance that goal.”
Ocean Biomedical is focused on clinical programs in oncology, fibrosis, infectious disease, and inflammation. Its business model involves partnerships with scientists, research universities, and medical centers for developing and commercializing their discoveries. With a management team of experienced biopharma, business, and scientific leaders, Ocean Biomedical works to efficiently move new discoveries from the lab to the market, providing the capital and expertise needed to turn novel ideas into transformative therapeutics.
“We are pleased to see our unique business model and all of our groundbreaking scientific work adding up to this important recognition by the Russell 2000, one of the most widely followed benchmarks for emerging U.S. companies,” said the company’s chief executive officer Elizabeth Ng.
“We are happy to be part of this internationally recognized index,” said Ocean Biomedical’s chief financial officer Gurinder Kalra.
The company is currently developing three programs, each with the potential for multiple indications and based on discoveries of novel, first-in-class biological targets, with the intention to add more. They include (1) Cancer immunotherapy program with potential for use in a broad array of visceral cancers, from prostate cancer to lung cancer to glioblastoma; (2) Fibrosis therapeutic program with potential to address multiple fibrotic diseases from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) to alcoholic liver disease to scleroderma; and (3) Malaria/Infectious Disease program, which has led to breakthrough vaccine and therapeutic candidates for the prevention and treatment of malaria.
Suren Ajjarapu, a member of Ocean Biomedical’s independent board of directors, commented, “We are pleased with this addition and are hopeful that it will add to the long-term confidence in the work of our company and the expansion of value for our shareholders.”
Earlier this week, Ocean Biomedical announced the award of patent for its scientific co-founder Dr. Jack Elias’ cancer immunotherapy discovery related to reversing immune system suppression by binding chitinase 3-like-1 (CHi3L1) polypeptides with the company’s proprietary immunoglobulin antibody.
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