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28 June 2018

Oxford Cannabinoid Technologoies goes global as it announces close of series a fundraising round and management team line-up

28 June 2018 (Oxford, UK) - Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies (“OCT”), a biotechnology firm researching the potential of cannabinoid-based medications, announces today it has closed a Series A funding round. Investment was secured from Casa Verde Capital, Imperial Brands Ventures Ltd, and other Family Offices and Institutions.

The capital raised will be used to establish a strategic research partnership and laboratory in Europe. This will support OCT’s research into the mechanisms of cannabinoids in order to develop treatments that improve the quality of life for millions of patients around the world. Institutional involvement in OCT adds further impetus and credibility to the fast growing medical cannabis market.

OCT is establishing an Advisory Board of prominent scientists and policy makers from around the world. OCT today confirms that Baroness Meacher, the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform, has agreed to serve on its Advisory Board. Baroness Meacher said: “I’m thrilled that OCT has secured more funding and its much needed research is now under way. It is fantastic to see that Britain remains a world leader in pioneering medical research.” Both Sir Patrick Stewart and Baroness Meacher will be joining OCT in an unpaid capacity. Further appointments will be announced over the coming weeks.

Although there have been few clinical trials, cannabis has demonstrated efficacy in treating a multitude of conditions. However, more data is needed to uncover its full medicinal benefits. Beginning in early 2018, OCT has identified and prioritised several cannabinoid research proposals based on their clinical potential. With indications ranging from pain and inflammation to cancer and neurological disorders, OCT has commissioned research in many critical areas.  

“The therapeutic benefits of cannabis are vast, and OCT is the perfect partner to explore this within the growing biotech and pharmaceutical spaces,” said Karan Wadhera, the Managing Partner at Casa Verde Capital, the leading venture capital firm in the cannabis industry. “We’re inspired by OCT’s work and are excited to help fund research that could change countless lives.”

Kingsley Capital Partners (“KCP”) remains the largest shareholder in the business. Managing Partner of KCP and Chairman of OCT, Neil Mahapatra, said: “At a time when medical cannabis markets are opening across the world, it is still surprising how little focus appears to be dedicated to understanding the underlying molecular actions of cannabinoids. We want to help fill this knowledge gap, ultimately developing medical products that could help a large number of people.”

Matthew Phillips, Chief Development Officer, Imperial Brands PLC said: “We are pleased to be partnering with OCT. Cannabinoid products have significant potential and our investment enables Imperial to support OCT’s important research while building a deeper understanding of the medical cannabis market.”

In addition to the latest round of funding, OCT announces a new, highly experienced and diverse global management team:

  • Dr John Lucas (Chief Commercial Officer): a pharmaceutical executive with over 20 years of experience, John previously held executive level management positions, including Chief Executive Officer (Cizzle Biotechnology), General Counsel (Silence Therapeutics) and Vice President, Intellectual Property (Ilika plc, Metabasis Therapeutics, and Transform Pharmaceuticals), with further experience at the National Cancer Institute and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma. John has also run his own consulting business where he assisted clients with business and legal/patent matters in biotech-pharma. His experience includes deal-making, corporate and product strategy, operations, and law/patents. John has a wide range of subject matter experience including small molecule pharmaceuticals (including cannabinoids), RNA therapy, biologics, and diagnostics. John holds a law degree (JD) from George Washington University and a doctorate in molecular genetics from The Ohio State University. He also holds a Master’s degree in microbiology and an undergraduate degree in biology from Ohio University.
     
  • Dr Jutta Roth (Chief Scientific Officer): with over fifteen years’ experience, Dr Roth previously served as Head of Strategic Development for Barts and The London School of Medicine and as Director of Partnerships for the Centre for Population Genomic Medicine in London. A published academic researcher, Jutta holds a PhD in Genetics with Distinction and an MSc in Microbiology from the University of Salzburg, with later research fellowships at Yale University and the UK National Institute for Medical Research.
     
  • Gavin Sathianathan (Non-Executive Director) CEO of Forma Holdings, engaging businesses in legal medical cannabis markets worldwide.
     
  • Hee-Dong Kim (Non-Executive Director) Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Kingsley Capital Partners.


- Ends - 


Notes to Editors

 

About Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies
Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies was established in 2017 to harness the prospective medical benefits of cannabinoids with a view to creating life-changing therapeutic outcomes for sufferers of acute and chronic conditions around the world. OCT has previously funded cannabinoid research projects at UK universities, and will fund additional cannabinoid projects at other academic institutions around the world.
 

About Kingsley Capital Partners
Kingsley Capital Partners (“KCP”) is a London-based investment firm that invests in private equity in the UK and emerging markets. Beyond its private equity activities, KCP has established and incubated a number of businesses on its balance sheet that operate in the legalised cannabis market, including Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies.

Neil Mahapatra, one of KCP’s Managing Partners, is a former President of the Oxford Union and graduated with a BA in Biological Sciences at Oxford. He is passionate about discovering whether and how medical cannabis can alleviate the suffering of people facing acute and chronic conditions, as a consequence of the death of his late mother from cancer. The experience led him to read about the medical potential of cannabinoids and ultimately conceive of OCT.
 

About Casa Verde Capital
Casa Verde Capital (“CVC”) is the leading venture capital firm focusing exclusively on the cannabis industry. As both the domestic and international cannabis markets continue to evolve and mature, CVC maintains a view that the cannabis industry will be among the most compelling investment themes of the next few decades. Primarily aimed at the ancillary cannabis ecosystem, which is commonly referred to as "not touching the plant," CVC invests in the legal, scalable "picks and shovels" that support the expanding industry.
 

About Imperial Brands Ventures Ltd
Imperial Brands Ventures Ltd is a subsidiary of Imperial Brands PLC, a dynamic fast moving consumer goods company borne out of a strong tobacco heritage. Imperial has evolved to embrace changing market dynamics and is increasingly focusing attention on developing and expanding its portfolio of Next Generation Products.
 

Media contacts

Fraser Schurer-Lewis

Acuitas Communications

T: +44 (0)7961 027 281/+44 (0)20 3687 0868

E: fraser.schurer-lewis@acuitascomms.com
 

Twitter: @OxCanTech

Facebook: @OxCanTech

LinkedIn: Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies

 

Simon Nayyar

Acuitas Communications

T: +44 (0)7799-767676/+44 (0)20 3687 0869

E: simon.nayyar@acuitascomms.com

Website: oxcantech.com

 

 

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