Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Novel molecule discovery being synthesized for breast cancer drug development
ST.JOHN’S, NL CANADA – Oceans Ltd., an ocean technology company, today announced it has made a ground-breaking discovery in the properties of Newfoundland and Labrador seaweed that will be a ‘game changer’ in breast cancer treatment.
“For several years, we have been investigating the biological activity of seaweed for developing and commercializing natural health and pharmaceutical products,” says Judith Bobbitt, the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Oceans Ltd. has sampled 60 to 70 seaweed species in Newfoundland and Labrador’s coastal waters, and the results of our research has led to the discovery of anti-cancer properties.”
Utilizing a crude extract from the seaweed, in-vitro and in-vivo studies have conclusively demonstrated effectiveness in inhibiting the growth of breast cancer cells. “We have also successfully characterized the molecule structure and have discovered a novel molecule not previously identified,” says Bobbitt.
Most recently, a study was conducted to correlate this compound with anti-cancer activity in mice trials. The study shows that a significant reduction in tumour growth was observed with the pure compound at two different concentrations. This effect represented inhibition of tumour growth since the tumours volume did not progress in size during the trial.
“No obvious abnormalities related to distant tumour metastasis were detected in any of the animals in the study,” adds Bobbitt, “and internal organs, with high potential for metastasis such as the livers, lungs, axillary lymph nodes and diaphragms looked normal.”
It is also important to note that the body weights of mice in all treatment groups remained stable, with no adverse effects observed.
Ocean’s novel molecule, affectionately named GorgonaDosiTM (meaning mermaid potion), is now being synthesized at a prominent research lab, and once complete will be ready for pharmaceutical development. Patents to protect the discovery have been filed.
About Oceans Ltd.
Oceans Ltd. is an ocean technology company that has been providing environmental services to the oil industry for the past 37 years in marine weather forecasting, iceberg measurement, physical oceanography, and environmental biomonitoring. During this time the company has been involved in research and development to provide better scientific services, including new methodologies for biomonitoring of species in areas where there are operational oil drilling platforms. Most recently, Oceans Ltd. has been carrying out research in marine algae. The company is comprised of 37 employees, mainly scientists.
Several years ago, inspired by Dr. Sarah Sallon, head of the Natural Medicine Unit of Hadassah Medical Center in Israel, Oceans Ltd. decided to sample 60 to 70 seaweed species in Newfoundland and Labrador coastal waters to determine whether the species had therapeutic bioactivity. Results of the initial investigation led Oceans to continue with research on anti-cancer properties.
The first in-vivo trial in mice carried out with a crude extract from the seaweed which had positive results. This trial demonstrated effectiveness of the extract in inhibiting the growth of breast cancer cells. The next step was to isolate and identify the molecular structure of the active compound in the extract that inhibited the growth of breast cancer. Oceans Ltd. was successful in isolating the molecule and characterizing its molecular structure. A novel molecule not previously identified was discovered.
Most recently, an in-vivo study in mice was conducted to investigate the anti-cancer activity of this novel molecule. The study showed a significant reduction in tumour growth with the pure compound at two different concentrations.
Over the course of the study, tumour volumes in control groups increased by approximately 2.5-fold, from 26 mm3 to 73 mm3. In contrast, no significant change in tumour size was observed in mice treated with the novel pure compound at both tested concentrations during the study. On average, at the end of 4-weeks, tumours in treated animals at 5 and 10 mg/kg remained close to their starting volume, 27 mm3. This profile of tumours failing to progress in size suggested this novel compound exerted an anti-proliferative effect.
Figure: Tumour volumes over the four-week treatment duration
Over the course of the study, the body weights of mice in all treatment groups remained stable with no adverse effects observed. Grossly, no obvious abnormalities related to distant tumour metastasis were detected in any of the treated animals. Internal organs, with high potential for MDA-MB-231 cell metastasis, such as liver, lungs, axillary lymph nodes and diaphragm looked normal.
The novel molecule is now being synthesized in a prominent research lab. Oceans’ novel molecule has been named GorgonaDosi (meaning mermaid potion). Once the synthesis of the compound is complete, it will be ready for drug development.