Ocean Biomedical Announces Groundbreaking Malaria Vaccine Discovery

PROVIDENCE, R.I., April 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Ocean Biomedical is pleased to announce a groundbreaking discovery in the global effort to eradicate malaria. In advance of World Malaria Day, the journal Nature today published the findings of a Brown University research team led by Dr. Jake Kurtis, MD, PhD. This discovery provides new insights into the way malaria regulates infection levels within its host, and new possibilities for a broadly effective vaccine and a whole new class of antimalarial medications.

According to the World Health Organization's 2019 Malaria Report, there were 228 million cases of malaria in 2018, and 405,000 deaths. Two-thirds of those deaths were children under 5 years old.

"Malaria is the most significant killer of children on earth," said Brown's Dean of Medicine Dr. Jack Elias. "Dr. Kurtis' team's discovery of PfGARP is a major advance toward developing a vaccine for this devastating disease, and Ocean Biomedical is committed to developing and delivering this vaccine."

Ocean Biomedical is developing Dr. Kurtis' discovery to accelerate the timetable for clinical availability of this new vaccine and related medicines. Ocean Biomedical's experienced biopharma team will support the next steps in optimizing the vaccine formulation, preparing for phase 1 clinical trials, and developing related therapeutic treatments.

In addition to the potential malaria treatments, Ocean Biomedical plans to expand the unique development platform that led to this discovery to facilitate breakthroughs in other critical areas, including addressing novel coronaviruses, such as SARS-CoV-2.

Dr. Kurtis' team has also applied this whole-proteome differential screening platform to identify novel vaccine candidates against another intractable disease, human schistosomiasis japonica, a parasitic worm infection. Ocean Biomedical is committed to applying this unique discovery platform to other challenging infectious diseases, including viruses like the recently emerged SARS-CoV-2 which is responsible for the current COVID-19 pandemic.

"Our whole-proteome differential screening platform is unique in that it identifies the pathogen targets that are recognized by protected humans, bypassing the shortcomings of starting with animal models," said Ocean Biomedical's founder and Chairman, Dr. Chirinjeev Kathuria. "This malaria vaccine platform has generated one of the most exciting vaccine candidates for treating malaria in the world. We're thrilled to be moving it forward, and we're looking to adapt the platform for use with other intractable diseases, including those that can cause devastating coronavirus pandemics."

Ocean Biomedical Inc. (www.oceanbiomedical.com) is a Rhode Island based company that was founded by Brown University medical school graduate and Stanford business school graduate Dr. Chirinjeev Kathuria, along with Dr. Jack Elias, Brown's Dean of Medicine, and other experienced biopharma executives. Ocean Biomedical is dedicated to partnering with inventor-scientists and research institutes to bridge the gap between basic research and clinical development, to get new medicines to the patients who need it most.

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SOURCE Ocean Biomedical