Ocean Biomedical (NASDAQ: OCEA) Announces Joint Venture Partner, Virion Therapeutics to Present Their First Clinical Study Data as an Accepted Late Breaker Presentation at 2024 APASL Global Liver Meeting

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Ocean Biomedical, Inc. (NASDAQ: OCEA) congratulates joint venture partner, Virion Therapeutics, LLC, for their abstract acceptance at APASL's 33rd Annual Meeting, presenting first-ever human data on HBV immunotherapy. The presentation will focus on safety data from ongoing Phase 1B clinical trial of VRON-0200, a novel checkpoint modifier T cell vaccine designed for HBV functional cure.
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Providence, RI, Feb. 29, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ocean Biomedical, Inc. (NASDAQ: OCEA), a biopharma company which endeavors to accelerate the development of compelling discoveries from top research scientists, today congratulates its joint venture partner, Virion Therapeutics, LLC, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing T cell-based immunotherapies, for the acceptance of their abstract highlighting the first-ever human data from its novel checkpoint modifier immunotherapy for HBV functional cure, for late breaker oral presentation at the upcoming 33rd Annual Meeting of APASL (The Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver), taking place in Kyoto, Japan from March 27-31, 2024.

The late breaker presentation will highlight the safety data observed, to date, in the ongoing Phase 1B clinical trial of VRON-0200. “This accepted abstract highlights Virion’s commitment to finding a functional cure for chronically HBV-infected patients - and the first-ever human data for a genetically encoded checkpoint modifier T cell vaccine of any kind. VRON-0200 is uniquely developed to stimulate a patient’s own immune response to the virus. Additionally, its mechanism of action and intramuscular administration were designed to limit safety issues for this novel therapy,” said Dr. Sue Currie, COO of Virion, and one of the study authors. “We look forward to sharing these late breaking clinical HBV data at APASL, one of the leading meetings on the treatment of liver diseases in the world.”

Presentation details are as follows:

Late-Breaker Oral Presentation

Title: First-in-human, first-in-class, Phase 1B preliminary safety data of VRON-0200, a novel checkpoint modifier containing immunotherapy, for HBV Functional Cure
Session: Late-Breaker Session
Date: March 28, 2024
Time: 8AM – 10AM JST (6PM – 8PM EST; March 27, 2024)
Presenter: Grace LH Wong, MD, Professor. Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, and Institute of Digestive Disease, Medical Data Analytics Centre, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

About Chronic Hepatitis B

Despite a preventative vaccine, cases of chronic hepatitis B (HBV) continue to rise, with an estimated 296 million persons infected worldwide and 820,000 deaths per year from HBV-related liver complications. This includes almost 100 million persons in China who are affected by this disease. Chronic HBV remains a global health issue with a high unmet medical need since there is no cure available. The current standard of care requires lifelong antiviral therapy to maintain control of the virus.

About VRON-0200

VRON-0200 is a therapeutic immunotherapy, administered by intramuscular injection, designed with the goal of providing a functional cure for chronic HBV infection. While the virus itself stimulates HBV-specific CD8+ T cells, for those patients that can’t clear the initial infection, their T cells soon become exhausted, placing limits on their ability to proliferate and control the virus. Preclinical data support the hypothesis that VRON-0200, through checkpoint modification, can amplify, broaden, and enhance T cell responses to include T cells that are not normally activated during a chronic HBV infection, which results in improved viral control.

About Virion Therapeutics (Virion)

Virion Therapeutics, LLC is a clinical-stage company developing novel T cell-based immunotherapies to cure cancer and chronic infectious diseases that utilize proprietary genetically encoded checkpoint modifiers to enhance and broaden CD8+ T cell responses to a tumor or chronic infection. Founded in early 2018, Virion has since developed a robust pipeline, including its lead VRON-0200 clinical program, and several additional IND-enabling programs, including its VRON-0300 oncology program for advanced solid tumors, leveraging its proprietary platform technologies. In early Fall 2023, Virion and Ocean Biomedical entered a joint venture to accelerate and expand Virion’s pipeline of novel immunotherapies.

To learn more, visit

About Ocean Biomedical

Ocean Biomedical, Inc. is a Providence, Rhode Island-based biopharma company with an innovative business model that strives to accelerate the development and commercialization of scientifically compelling assets from research universities and medical centers. Ocean Biomedical intends to deploy the resources and expertise to move new therapeutic candidates efficiently from the laboratory to the clinic to the world. Ocean Biomedical is currently developing five 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’s goal is is to work on solving some of the world’s toughest problems, for the people who need it most.

To learn more, visit

Forward-Looking Statements

The information included herein and in any oral statements made on behalf of Ocean Biomedical, Inc. (the “Company”) or otherwise in connection herewith include “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of words such as “estimate,” “plan,” “project,” “forecast,” “intend,” “will,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “seek,” “target,” or other similar expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters, although not all forward-looking statements contain such identifying words. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding estimates and forecasts of financial and performance metrics and expectations; the expected timing and success of IND filings for our initial product candidates; statements regarding the expected timing of our IND-enabling studies; the frequency and timing of filing additional INDs; expectations regarding the availability and addition of future assets to our pipeline; the advantages of any of our pipeline assets and platforms; the potential benefits of our product candidates; potential commercial opportunities; the timing of key milestones for our programs; the future financial condition, results of operations, business strategy and plans, and objectives of management for future strategy and operations; and statements about industry trends and other companies in the industry. These forward-looking statements are based on various assumptions, whether or not identified herein, and on the current expectations of the Company’s management, and they are not predictions of actual performance. These forward-looking statements are provided for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to serve as and must not be relied on by any investor as, a guarantee, an assurance, a prediction, or a definitive statement of fact or probability. Actual events and circumstances are difficult or impossible to predict and will differ from assumptions.

Any discoveries announced by the Company are based solely on laboratory and animal studies. The Company has not conducted any studies that show similar efficacy or safety in humans. There can be no assurances that any treatment tested by the Company will prove safe or effective in humans, and that any clinical benefits of any such treatment is subject to clinical trials and ultimate approval of its use in patients by the FDA. Such approval, if granted, could be years away.

Forward-looking statements are predictions, projections, and other statements about future events that are based on current expectations and assumptions and, as a result, are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, conditions, or results, and involve a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions, and other important factors, many of which are outside the control of the Company that could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. You should carefully consider the foregoing factors and the other risks and uncertainties that are described in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2022 and in the Company’s subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and other documents filed by the Company from time to time with the SEC and which are available at These filings identify and address other important risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events and results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. We do not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements made by us. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company’s assessments as of any date subsequent to the date of this release. Accordingly, undue reliance should not be placed upon the forward-looking statements.

Ocean Biomedical Investor Relations
Kevin Kertscher
Communications Director

Virion Therapeutics, LLC 
Dr. Sue Currie 
Chief Operating Officer


What is the ticker symbol for Ocean Biomedical, Inc.?

The ticker symbol for Ocean Biomedical, Inc. is OCEA.

What is the focus of the abstract accepted by Virion Therapeutics, LLC at APASL's 33rd Annual Meeting?

The abstract accepted by Virion Therapeutics, LLC at APASL's 33rd Annual Meeting focuses on presenting first-ever human data on a novel checkpoint modifier immunotherapy for HBV functional cure.

Who is the presenter for the late-breaker oral presentation at APASL?

Grace LH Wong, MD, Professor from The Chinese University of Hong Kong, will be presenting the late-breaker oral presentation at APASL.

What is the unique aspect of VRON-0200 in relation to HBV immunotherapy?

VRON-0200 is uniquely developed to stimulate a patient's own immune response to the virus, with a mechanism of action and intramuscular administration designed to limit safety issues for this novel therapy.

Ocean Biomedical, Inc.


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