Skip Navigation Links   >   Home   >   News & Media
11 January 2021

Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies Announces Changes to Executive Team

  • Dr John Lucas named Chief Executive Officer
  • Clarissa Sowemimo-Coker named Chief Operating Officer in addition to role as General Counsel

Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies (“OCT”), the UK-based pharmaceutical firm researching the potential of cannabinoids for treating a range of acute and chronic conditions, is today announcing changes to the company’s leadership team. The board of directors has named Dr John Lucas as Chief Executive, and Clarissa Sowemimo-Coker as Chief Operating Officer of OCT. The board believe that these changes will help to position OCT for future growth and development at an exciting time for the business.

OCT is specialising in the development of cannabinoid-based prescription drugs for the £44.5bn pain market. It has had an exclusive research partnership with Oxford University since 2017, and is initially targeting indications in serious pain conditions with two drug candidates, with pre-clinical studies currently underway.

Dr John Lucas joined OCT in August 2018 in the role of Chief Commercial Officer. He is well placed to take on the position as Chief Executive Officer, with a detailed knowledge of all aspects of the company’s business, and having been a key architect behind OCT’s strategy and development over the past three years. He has over twenty years of experience in the biotechnology industry, and before joining OCT held senior roles at Cizzle Biotechnology, Silence Therapeutics and Ilika plc. As a qualified US patent attorney, he also has expertise on commercial and IP matters across healthcare.

Clarissa Sowemimo-Coker is expanding her role to include serving as the Chief Operating Officer of OCT. She has been a key part of the leadership team since joining in December 2018 as General Counsel, a role she retains. As Chief Operating Officer, Ms Sowemimo-Coker will oversee operational issues, as well as being closely involved on the company’s strategic goals. She has responsibility for legal, compliance, D&I, people, culture and public relations. A qualified solicitor, she has previously held roles as senior in-house counsel in corporations including Hutchison 3G UK Ltd and Virgin Media Ltd.

Dr John Lucas, Chief Executive Officer of OCT said “OCT continues to make enormous strides, combining the medical potential of cannabinoids with the scientific rigour of pharmaceutical R&D to develop an exciting drug candidate pipeline. I am delighted to be leading the team as our drug development programme takes the next steps forward, enabling OCT to deliver real therapeutic solutions for patients.” 

Clarissa Sowemimo-Coker, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel said “I look forward to helping John and the wider team build the business’s position as a global leader in the development of prescription medicines from cannabinoids  for patients with significant unmet medical needs. It has been an exciting journey over the past three years, and the coming phase looks set to be a period of further development and progress for the business.”

Neil Mahapatra, founder and Chairman of OCT said "Strengthening the leadership of our business is always a top priority, and this change in roles reflects the growing breadth and scope of OCT, helping to position the business for the future. Both John and Clarissa share a deep passion for our mission and a keen understanding of what must be done to achieve our ambitions. Their insight, and knowledge of the industry will be invaluable as we shape the path forward for OCT.”

    All News

    • Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies says admission to the OTCQB is a logical next step

      02 September 2021 US Market
    • Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies announces strategic partnership with Evotec

      06 July 2021 Partnership
    • Chief Scientific Officer Valentino Parravicini to speak at major cannabinoid-based drugs summit in Boston, Massachusetts

      Chief Scientific Officer Valentino Parravicini to speak at major cannabinoid-based drugs summit in Boston, Massachusetts

      24 June 2021 iCDP Speaker
    • Meet the Team Interview Series: Dr John Lucas, Chief Executive Officer

      Meet the Team Interview Series: Dr John Lucas, Chief Executive Officer

      22 June 2021 Meet the Team Interview Series
    • Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies Holdings plc to conduct live presentations to retail investors

      04 June 2021 Live Presentation
    • OCT Forges Partnership with Voisin Consulting Life Sciences

      OCT Forges Partnership with Voisin Consulting Life Sciences

      01 June 2021 OCT Partnership
    • Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies Announces Changes to Executive Team

      11 January 2021 Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies Announces Changes to Executive Team
    • OCT Company Values: How We Pursue Our Mission and Vision

      OCT Company Values: How We Pursue Our Mission and Vision

      01 December 2020 OCT Company Values
    • OCT - Meet the Team Interview Series: Valentino Parravicini, Chief Scientific Officer

      Meet the Team Interview Series: Dr Valentino Parravicini, Chief Scientific Officer

      26 October 2020 Meet the Team Interview Series
    • OCT - A Pharmaceutical Company Focused on Developing Cannabinoids to Pain

      07 September 2020 OCT - A Pharmaceutical Company Focused on Developing Cannabinoids to Pain
    • OCT Appoints Dr Valentino Parravicini as Chief Scientific Officer as the business prepares for exciting new developments

      OCT Appoints Dr Valentino Parravicini as Chief Scientific Officer

      28 July 2020 OCT Press Release
    • Cannabinoids in medicine part 5: Treating COVID-19

      17 June 2020 Open Access Government
    • Why the Government should continue to invest in Life Sciences post COVID-19

      Why the government should continue to invest in Life Sciences post COVID-19

      01 June 2020 OCT blog - John Lucas, COO
    • OCT researchers publish new study examining genes involved in treating neuropathic pain

      19 April 2020 OCT Press Release
    • OCT announces pre-clinical development of new cannabinoid compound ‘OCT461201’ to treat IBS

      03 April 2020 OCT Press Release
    • Cannabinoids in medicine part 4: Epilepsy

      30 March 2020 Open Access Government
    • Cannabinoids in Medicine Part 3: Psoriasis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

      07 January 2020 Open Access Government
    • Cannabinoids in medicine Part 2: Pain

      11 October 2019 Open Access Government
    • Cannabinoids in medicine Part 1: Cancer

      22 August 2019 Open Access Government
    • An interview with Neil Mahapatra

      08 January 2019 The Times Magazine
    • High life: the start-up hoping to unlock the secrets of medical cannabis

      09 August 2018 Evening Standard
    • Oxford Cannabinoid Technologoies goes global as it announces close of series a fundraising round and management team line-up

      28 June 2018 OCT Press Release
    • Embracing the medical potential of cannabinoids

      01 June 2017 The Medicine Maker
    • Smashing the stigma with science

      01 June 2017 The Medicine Maker
    • Oxford University launches £10m research project into medical marijuana

      16 March 2017 Evening Standard
    • Oxford University to launch study on medical benefits of marijuana

      16 March 2017 The Telegraph
    • Oxford University to launch multimillion-dollar medical marijuana research program

      16 March 2017 CNBC
    • Oxford University launches £10m marijuana research programme

      16 March 2017 BBC
    • The University of Oxford and Kingsley Capital Partners announce ground breaking Cannabinoid Biomedicine Research Programme

      15 March 2017 OCT Press Release