Ocean Therapeutics (OTI) has agreed to license research products from Marbionc Development Group to pharmaceutical, biomedical research, nutraceutical, and related companies for further development and marketing. Marbionc is a not-for-profit entity associated with the Center for Marine Science at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW).
“The principal partners in OTI have impressive backgrounds in business, marketing, and medicine, as well as high-level contacts in the pharmaceutical industry,” notes Daniel Baden, director of UNCW center and executive principal for Marbionc. “They will be able to use their long-term relationships to further our licensing and marketing opportunities as well as to bring other collaborative partners to Marbionc.”
The two entities will work together to license the substances brevenal and beta-naphthoyl brevetoxin, developed through Marbionc’s research program, to pharmaceutical companies. Both substances are in the pre-IND phase of development. Marbionc is conducting additional animal toxicology studies to determine their viability to treat cystic fibrosis, COPD, and other pulmonary/respiratory diseases. Preliminary data indicates that these compounds are therapeutically effective and have a 1,000-fold safety factor compared to substances already on the market.
Marbionc has also created a large chemical library of fractions obtained from its collection of culturable marine microalgae and bacteria in a format suitable for high-throughput screening. OTI will market this chemical library to third-party research and pharmaceutical companies.
Additionally, Marbionc is studying a series of compounds as narrow-spectrum antibiotics. And finally, the company is investigating alternative production of beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids from marine algae that is safer and more sustainable than fish. Obtaining beneficial fatty acids directly from marine algae may address concerns about the level of contaminants that can be found in some fish-sourced fatty acid products, according to the firm.