Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies Moves Forward On Drug Development Tests

Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies Holdings plc (LSE: OCTP)reported its financial results for the year ending on April 30, 2023. While the company didn’t report any revenues, it did note that it has a robust balance sheet, debt-free with cash reserves of approximately £2.3 million. Oxford also stated that its cash is forecast to be fully utilized by April 2024.

Still, the loss for the year was £5.9 million versus last year’s loss of £4.7 million. The basic and diluted loss per share was (0.62p) versus last year’s loss per share of (0.49p).

Julie Pomeroy, OCTP Non-Executive Chair, said, “This has been a defining year for Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies, marked by a number of major milestones and significant achievements. The dedication, expertise, and relentless pursuit of excellence by our team have delivered the transition of OCT from a pre-clinical stage to a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company. We have seen two of our programs complete their pre-clinical stages during the year with one of them moving into a Phase I clinical trial in Q2 2023 and are well-positioned for future clinical developments.”

Oxford said in a statement that it has continued to reduce expenses in part by closing its London office in April 2022, which is expected to generate savings of approximately £130,000. The company stated that its research costs (excluding salary costs) increased in line with budget to £4.3m, of which £2.0m relates to its OCT461201 drug and £1.9m on its drug OCT130401. A further £0.4m was spent on Programmes 3 and 4 mainly relating to the development of CB1/CB2 agonists by Dalriada.

Operational costs increased from £2.3m to £2.7m, including salaries and associated costs of £1.4m.

OCTP currently has a portfolio of four drug development programs. Its lead compound, OCT461201, will initially target neuropathic and visceral pain (including irritable bowel syndrome and chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, with the Phase I clinical trial, aimed at demonstrating safety and tolerability. Trial results are expected in the third quarter of 2023.  The global market for CIPN alone is currently valued at $1.61 billion and is forecast to reach $2.37 billion by the year 2027.

Clarissa Sowemimo-Coker, CEO, added, “The successful advance of our lead drug candidate, OCT461201, to its Phase I clinical trial, marks a major milestone for Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies and is the culmination of years of patient research and endeavour. This brings us one step closer to delivering a vital solution to meet the needs of patients living with chronic pain conditions. During FY2022-23, we continued to deploy our cash and resources prudently, ensuring that we are well-positioned to meet our future objectives in order to develop therapies that can transform the lives of patients everywhere.”

After the end of the company’s yearly reporting, Oxford stated that it received MHRA and REC 2 approval of the Phase I clinical trial application for OCT461201. The company also appointed Dr Tim Corn as Chief Medical Officer, further strengthening the core team.

The company has expanded into oncology with a potential “first-in-class” immunotherapy agent for solid tumors. It also reported the successful administration of the first-in-human dose of OCT461201, as part of its Phase I clinical trial.

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