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Team

OCT’s team have experience across pharmaceutical operations, research and development, intellectual property, law and finance.

Neil Mahapatra (Chairman)

Neil Mahapatra is the founder of OCT, with overall responsibility for the direction and strategy of the company.

Neil is a Managing Partner at Kingsley Capital Partners and has over 15 years investment and private equity experience. Before founding Kingsley, he worked at J. Rothschild Capital Management, leading several private investments for Lord Rothschild’s family office and RIT Capital Partners plc. He began his career in healthcare investment banking at Morgan Stanley in London.

Neil holds a BA in Biological Sciences from Oxford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Dr John Lucas (Chief Commercial Officer)

John is the Chief Commercial Officer of OCT, responsible for setting and executing the commercial strategy of the business and ensuring that its research activities are consistent with its direction. He also drives other business development activities, including strategic partnerships and in-licensing transactions.

John is a pharmaceutical executive with over 15 years’ wide-ranging biotechnology experience across operations and law. He previously held executive positions at Cizzle Biotechnology (as CEO), Silence Therapeutics (as General Counsel) and Ilika Plc (Vice President, Intellectual Property).

A qualified US patent attorney, John has consulted clients on commercial and IP matters across healthcare. He has completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Cancer Institute, and holds a JD from George Washington University, a PhD in Molecular Genetics, a MS in Microbiology, and a BEd in Biology and Chemistry from Ohio University.

Dr Jutta Roth (Chief Scientific Officer)

Jutta is the Chief Scientific Officer of OCT and manages the company’s research programmes and university collaborations.

Jutta previously worked within the Medical Sciences department at Oxford University where she was responsible for designing collaborations with commercial organisations. Previous roles also include Head of Strategic Development for Barts and The London School of Medicine and Director of Partnerships for the Centre for Population Genomic Medicine in London.

Jutta has worked on various model organisms and is experienced across a number of disease areas. She holds a PhD in Genetics with Distinction and an MSc in Microbiology, both from the University of Salzburg, with research fellowships conducted at Yale University and the National Institute for Medical Research.

Eugenia Shostak (Chief Financial Officer)

Eugenia is the Chief Financial Officer of OCT, responsible for the financial operations, control and budgeting of the Company, as well as monitoring the business’s financial positions with its research partners.

Eugenia has experience across finance, audit and tax. She previously held positions at Skill Capital, where she was responsible for corporate accounting and compliance, and within the restructuring services team at Deloitte, where she focused on administering assets into receivership, employee matters arising from bankruptcy, recovery of collateral property and asset liquidation.

A qualified CPA, Eugenia previously lived in Canada. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) from Laurentian University.

Clarissa Sowemimo-Coker (General Counsel)

Clarissa is the General Counsel and Company Secretary of OCT, responsible for all legal aspects of the business, including transactions, compliance and regulation associated with OCT’s research of controlled substances.

Clarissa has over 12 years’ experience across industry, both as in-house counsel and in private practice. She spent seven years at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP, focused on contentious and non-contentious IP matters, with previous experience at Hutchison 3G. Clarissa has also worked throughout EMEA and the Asia-Pacific region, delivering compliance training and management coaching to clients including Biogen, Google and Riot Games.

Clarissa holds a BA (Hons) in Philosophy and Literature from the University of Warwick and a Graduate Diploma in Law from BPP Law School.