Ocean Biomedical Announces Groundbreaking Breast Cancer Research Uncovering a New Tumor Suppression Pathway for Its Proprietary Anti-Chi3L1 Antibody

Ocean Biomedical, Inc. recently announced its Scientific Co-founder, Jack A. Elias, MD, co-authored new findings in the peer-reviewed journal Immunity that detail the mechanisms behind the role of chitinase 3-like-1 (CHI3L1) in the growth of triple negative breast cancer. The groundbreaking discoveries by a team led by Dr. William Muller at McGill University and in collaboration with Dr. Elias demonstrates that CHI3L1 stimulates neutrophil elaboration of NETs which block T cells from contacting and killing the breast cancer tumor. Additionally, the study provides further evidence of the potential impact of Ocean’s anti-Chi3L1 antibody in reversing this process and suppressing breast cancer tumor growth.

This groundbreaking paper deepens the understanding of how CHI3L1 inhibits the body’s natural ability to fight breast cancer tumors. It reveals for the first time another complex pathway by which CHI3L1 inhibits the immune response to cancer, this time by inducing neutrophil recruitment and NETosis, which blocks T cell infiltration. The paper also provides yet another preclinical demonstration of the effectiveness of Ocean’s Anti-CHI3L1 antibody in reducing the tumor growth by targeting CHI3L1 and reversing the T cell blockade. This tumor control pathway, the paper asserts, is likely at work in a range of cancers beyond breast cancer, and “targeting CHI3L1 may promote anti-tumor immunity in various tumor types.”

“This complex work by our colleagues at McGill has provided one of the most exciting discoveries of my lifetime and adds another layer of understanding about the ways in which CHI3L1 functions as a ‘master regulator’ that is not only at work in many cancers, but working in multiple pathways within individual cancers,” said Dr. Jack A. Elias, Ocean’s Scientific Co-founder.

Several publications this year have reinforced the potential of Ocean’s Anti-CHI3L1 immunotherapy in treating aggressive cancers. In April, an independent study published in Cancer Research demonstrated the role of CHI3L1 in modulating Glioma stem cells and the effectiveness of Ocean’s candidate in suppressing severe glioblastoma tumor growth.

In October, results published in bioRxiv by Elias and colleagues at Yale revealed the role of CHI3L1 in the growth of EGFR-mutant non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and the importance of CHI3L1 in the pathogenesis of therapeutic resistance in NSCLC. These studies also demonstrated that the anti-CHI3L1 antibody effectively restored therapeutic responsiveness to tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) in drug resistant NSCLC with the combination of Ocean’s antibody and a TKI, stopping human tumor progression by stimulating tumor suppressor genes and inducing tumor cell death. Although these findings were defined in NSCLC, they have potential effectiveness in other EGFR-mutation driven cancers including Glioblastoma and Colon cancer.

“We are excited to see the potential for Ocean’s cancer immunotherapy candidate demonstrated by a range of studies in some of the most aggressive cancers,” said Dr. Chirinjeev Kathuria, Ocean’s Executive Chairman and Founder.

“We are pleased to see additional research about the potential impact of cancer candidate as we continue to move towards filing an IND,” added Elizabeth Ng, CEO of Ocean Biomedical.

Prior research has established that elevated Chi3L1 levels are associated with many cancers, including glioblastoma, and may be targeted therapeutically. Recent studies from Ocean Biomedical have demonstrated that CHI3L1 is a critical regulator of a number of key cancer-causing pathways, highlighting its ability to inhibit tumor cell death (apoptosis), its inhibition of the expression of the tumor suppressors P53, PTEN, retinoblastoma 1, and Keap1 and its stimulation of the B-RAF protooncogene. Most recently Dr. Elias’s research team has discovered that CHI3L1 is a “master regulator” of ICPI, including key elements of the PD-1 and CTLA4 pathways. In accord with the importance of these pathways, Ocean has also generated antibodies: 1) a monoclonal antibody against CHI3L1; 2) bispecific antibodies that simultaneously target CHI3L1 and PD-1; and 3) a new bispecific antibody that simultaneously targets CHI3L1 and CTLA4. The impressive ability of these bispecific antibodies to control primary and metastatic lung cancer in murine experimental modeling systems have been discussed in detail in an earlier article in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, and this expanded approach in Frontiers in Immunology.

Ocean Biomedical, Inc. is a Providence, RI-based biopharma company with an innovative business model that accelerates the development and commercialization of scientifically compelling assets from research universities and medical centers. Ocean Biomedical deploys the funding and expertise to move new therapeutic candidates efficiently from the laboratory to the clinic, to the world. Ocean Biomedical is currently developing five promising discoveries that have the potential to achieve life-changing outcomes in lung cancer, brain cancer, pulmonary fibrosis, and the prevention and treatment of malaria. The Ocean Biomedical team is working on solving some of the world’s toughest problems, for the people who need it most. For more information, visit www.oceanbiomedical.com.