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Ocean Biomedical’s scientific co-founder Dr. Jonathan Kurtis gets new patent for malaria vaccine


Ocean Biomedical, Inc. (NASDAQ: OCEA), a biopharmaceutical company focused on clinical programs in oncology, fibrosis, and infectious disease, Thursday said its scientific co-founder Dr. Jonathan Kurtis received a new patent for his malaria vaccine discoveries. The patent has been awarded for the breakthrough approach to disrupting the malaria parasite’s life cycle. It extends patent protection for Dr. Kurtis’ novel discoveries that have defined the important roles of PfGARP and PfCDPK-5 in controlling the parasite’s ability to aggressively multiply within its human host. The company’s stock gained in premarket trading on Thursday.

Commenting on the patent award, Ocean Biomedical’s co-founder and executive chairman Dr. Chirinjeev Kathuria said, “The resurgence of Falciparum malaria worldwide is increasingly alarming and we are pleased to receive this patent coverage in such an important malaria-zone country. We are working hard to accelerate the development of our novel vaccine candidate and a novel class of antimalarials, which have the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives.”

25 Patents

Ocean Biomedical’s growing patent portfolio has 25 patents, and an additional 38 are pending. The company’s business model involves partnerships with scientists, research universities, and medical centers for developing and commercializing their discoveries.

(Source: Ocean Biomedical, Inc.)

The unique approach targets the blood-stage portion of the malaria lifecycle – the stage responsible for all clinical disease and death – and therefore has the potential of significantly greater efficacy compared with vaccines targeting other stages. The company is working to optimize the formulation of this vaccine prior to IND submission and first-in-humans testing.

“Our current vaccine formulation has an impressive ability to induce parasite cell death and we are excited about the prospect of moving this towards IND status that will enable human testing,” said Dr. Kurtis who is also the Chair of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Related Program

Additionally, Dr. Kurtis has developed a related small molecule drug program to provide a new approach for treating the increasingly drug-resistant strains of malaria. This medicine will be an additional focus of the company’s development pipeline this year and will address a massive unmet need.

Ocean Biomedical’s CEO Elizabeth Ng commented, “The progress we have been able to make thus far in advancing novel targets is a testament to Ocean Biomedical’s innovative model and deep partnership with premier research institutions. We are hopeful that Dr. Kurtis’ discoveries will lead to a powerful vaccine that can save hundreds of thousands of lives, and we are proud to help advance this important work.”

Last week, the company revealed that Taglich Brothers initiated coverage on it with a share price target of $20. In the coverage report, Taglich Brothers said the target price implied that the shares could appreciate nearly four-fold over the next twelve months.

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