Providence, Rhode Island, November 14, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Marine Biomedical Co., Ltd. (Nasdaq: OCEA), a biopharmaceutical company committed to accelerating the compelling discoveries of leading research scientists, today announced that its joint venture partner Virion Therapeutics, LLC, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing novel T-cell immunotherapies, recently launched an attractive Preclinical oncology data from SITC 2023, the annual meeting of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer.
These new data demonstrate complete and highly reproducible tumor clearance, as well as protection against tumor rechallenge, months after the animals have cleared the initial tumor. A significant improvement in immunogenicity was also demonstrated, with a 10-fold increase in T cell responses. VRON-0300 IND support activities are ongoing with the goal of submitting the first IND within the next nine months.
Virion Therapeutics is developing novel immunotherapies utilizing proprietary genetically encoded checkpoint modifiers (CPMs) to enhance and amplify CD8+ T cell response.
gD BTLA-HVEM blockade enhances and amplifies T cell activation (www.VirionTx.com)
Preclinical studies using CPM have demonstrated consistent and extraordinary immune responses and clinical activity across different diseases. In addition to the recently presented oncology data, Virion recently initiated a Phase 1b clinical trial in patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV):
VRON-0200 for chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV): VRON-0200 was developed with the goal of providing a functional cure for a disease that affects more than 300 million patients worldwide. It is designed to help control the infection by stimulating the patient’s own immune response, thereby helping to overcome immune failure, a key cause of chronic hepatitis B. Virion believes this novel mechanism using CPM is unlike anything others have previously studied or are currently developing. VRON-0200 has been administered to the first patients in its multi-country first-in-human study, with early clinical results expected in the first quarter of 2024. According to Precedence Research, a functional cure for chronic hepatitis B is expected to be achieved by 2032, with the market opportunity reaching $6.5B+.
“The initiation of our first clinical trial for VRON-0200 represents an important milestone in Virion’s mission to bring innovative immunotherapies to patients with cancer and chronic infectious diseases,” said Dr. Andrew Luber, CEO of Virion. “By targeting T cells Activation and checkpoint modification to enhance and amplify a patient’s own immune response are unique to Virion, and these human data will inform our proprietary platform technologies and pipeline, including VRON-0300, which is being developed for late-stage entities Developed for cancer patients,” Luber added. “These clinical milestones and new data have generated a high level of interest in our VRON-0200 and VRON-0300 programs from potential stakeholders and industry partners.”
In addition to recent major clinical and scientific milestones achieved through its joint venture partners, Ocean continues to advance immunotherapies for lung, brain and other cancers by targeting chitinase 3-like-1 expression (CHi3L1) and continues to advance other Development projects in fibrosis and the treatment and prevention of malaria.
Anti-cancer programs targeting CHi3L1: Ocean’s co-scientific founder Jack Elias, MD, and his colleagues at Yale and Brown University recently published data (bioRxiv reposted) showing that its cancer immunotherapy antibody candidate targeting CHi3L1 has proven effective in reducing the risk of targeting an aggressive subset of of tumors have epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).By inhibiting CHi3L1 activity, this treatment demonstrates a surprising ability to restore sensitivity to current tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapies After the emergence of resistance, including the third-generation TKI osimertinib (marketed by AstraZeneca under the name Tagrisso). Furthermore, recent studies have demonstrated up to 95% reduction in primary and metastatic tumor burden in mouse lung cancer models.
“I am very excited about these significant milestones in our joint venture with Virion and the progress Ocean is making across our product lines,” said Dr. Chirinjeev Kathuria, executive chairman and co-founder of Ocean. “These recent inflection points reinforce the “We are excited about the potential current and future value of our company, the joint venture’s upcoming clinical data, and Ocean’s other strategic activities.”
About marine biomedicine
Ocean Biomedical, Inc. is a Providence, Rhode Island-based biopharmaceutical company whose innovative business model accelerates the development and commercialization of scientifically compelling assets at research universities and medical centers. Marine Biomedicine leverages funding and expertise to efficiently move new treatment candidates from the laboratory to the clinic and into the world. Ocean Biomedical is currently developing five promising discoveries that have the potential to deliver life-changing results in the prevention and treatment of lung cancer, brain cancer, pulmonary fibrosis, and malaria. Marine biomedical teams are working to solve some of the world’s toughest problems for the people who need help most.
To learn more, visit www.oceanbiomedical.com.
About Virion Therapeutics (Virion)
Virion Therapeutics, LLC is a clinical-stage company developing novel T cell-based immunotherapies to treat cancer and chronic infectious diseases utilizing proprietary genetically encoded checkpoint modifiers (CPMs) to enhance and expand CD8+ T cell responses to tumors or chronic infections. Founded in early 2018 to advance technologies licensed by Wistar Research Institute. The Wistar Institute is an international leader in biomedical research, with special expertise in vaccines, cancer and infectious disease research. Virion has a strong pipeline, including its leading clinical program with VRON-0200, as well as several additional programs leveraging its proprietary platform technology to rapidly advance human studies.
To learn more, visit www.VirionTx.com.
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