Having a FTSE100 Giant as a Stakeholder validates Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies Holdings PLC
“…Our long term will be therapeutic expansion which will create diversity from a scientific and investment point of view…”
Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies is a rare entrant in the recently listed of the cannabinoid space. It is working in the licensed arena of cannabis-based medicines, it has the validation of a FTSE 100 shareholder and a collaboration with a partner that has the requisite experience and discipline to build a full pre-clinical package.
The company’s lead compound, OCT461201, is in development for primary indications of IBS-associated visceral pain and neuropathic pain conditions. The aim is to enter clinical trials in Q3 2022 and to expedite this ambition #OCTP has partnered with Evotec, the integrated drug discovery and development company.
Evotec has a big pharma background and Chief Scientific Officer Valentino Parravicini says it understands the caveats surrounding clinical studies. “You cannot rush drug development, but you can speed it up,” he says, and as long as quality is at the heart of the process, you can accelerate towards a scientific inflexion point. Evotec’s platform will allow #OCTP to step up a gear.
The quality partnership, the quality of the internal team and the quality of the shareholders allows executive chairman Neil Mahapatra to dream about GW Pharma type exits. GW develops cannabinoid-based medicines and earlier this year was acquired by Jazz Pharmaceuticals for $7.2 billion. Could this type of deal be on the cards? Mahapatra is a glass half full chair.
“We’re a company among medical cannabis companies that does things properly, but it’s also about developing a ready supply chain for our future drug compounds that in the medium to long terms means we’ll be an attractive acquisition for a pharmaceutical.”
The 9% stakeholding by a tobacco company doesn’t concern Mahapatra from an ethical standpoint. On the contrary, he says it encourages FTSE 100 audit and compliance disciplines from his company and reflects Imperial Brands Ventures’ own forward thinking. “Tobacco and cigarettes are a business that is under strong secular pressure, so tobacco companies are looking for the next growth engines in adjacent markets and I think cannabis is one of those.”
Listen to Neil and Valentino talk to Sarah Lowther about targeting a science that medical regulators are comfortable with, and how the scientific and investment case are marrying together
Watch the company’s webinar featuring #OCT board members
Watch Neil speak with Proactive London’s Katie Pilbeam at the time of the company’s IPO in May.
Read the company’s IPO prospectus
Follow the company on Twitter @OxCanTech
The author was remunerated but does not hold shares in the company