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Pipeline: Helping People Get Better

OCT is developing a portfolio of next-generation prescription cannabinoid medicines for approval by key regulatory agencies worldwide and targeting the multi-billion-dollar pain market including rare diseases. 

Many millions of people are living with chronic pain every day that is either unresolved by or is resistant to current treatments, leaving many of them dependent on opioids and the consequences of these.  In the US alone, this number is estimated to be 50 million with 60,000 opioid deaths in 2020[i].

Since its foundation in 2017, OCT has combined innovation with technical expertise to develop a “fast-track” drug development strategy. This approach lowers both developmental risk and costs and shortens the timeframe to commercialisation, without compromising on the crucial safety and efficacy testing required for regulatory approval. 

The OCT approach is to make medicines that target an important biological system in the body, known as the endocannabinoid system, to address significant unmet medical needs and help people getting and feeling better.  This system is important for regulating pain and helping to maintain the balance between our physical and mental health.  Where this balance becomes disrupted by disease, the aim is to restore it with cannabinoid-based treatments that are rigorously tested and approved by regulators such as the FDA so that they can be prescribed by physicians and reimbursed by insurers.

OCT has established a pipeline of three types of cannabinoid compounds, from which it is developing medicines that target the endocannabinoid system

  • Phytocannabinoids, the same compounds found in cannabis (pCBs);
  • Chemically modified pCBs with improved drug-like characteristics, and;
  • Novel chemical entities (NCEs) with cannabinoid receptor selectivity.

It is expected that each medicine will serve to resolve not just one but several severe pain conditions including some rare conditions.  From a business perspective this is important as rare diseases or orphan status, as it is known, helps OCTP to obtain market exclusivity where it would otherwise not be available.