Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies Holdings plc (“OCTP” or the “Company”), the holding company of Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies Ltd (“OCT”, together, the “Group”), a company developing licensed prescription cannabinoid medicines for approval by regulatory agencies worldwide and targeting the U$ multi-billion pain market, is pleased to announce that OCT has signed a new drug development agreement with Stemtech.
Stemtech is a contract research organisation based in Oxford and led by Dr Zameel Cader, which generates re-programmed human stem cells for research and drug discovery. Under the agreement Stemtech will provide OCT with cutting edge support for its drug development programmes, starting with Programmes 3 and 4 which are targeting pain, neurology and inflammation.
OCT believes Stemtech’s technology provides an in vitro translational model that will better predict results in humans. Simply put, Stemtech’s model helps predict which of OCT’s compounds (including the library recently licensed from Canopy Growth Corporation (“Canopy”), announced on 22 September 2021) have the potential to treat pain in patients suffering from disorders poorly treated by current medicines.
Stemtech has developed an innovative “pain-in-a-dish” model which replicates human pain and which supports both compound screening and mechanistic studies. By using Stemtech’s cutting-edge multi-electrode array technology (MEA), OCT can measure whether compounds in its library can reduce the “fire” rate of the neuron in real time and, thus, identify potential drugs to treat pain. Stemtech will also screen OCT’s drug library (including the library recently licensed from Canopy) for compounds that can ‘switch off’ inflammation at the cellular level.
Together these studies will assist OCT in identifying compounds with the potential of treating pain and neurological disorders involving neuro-inflammation and/or neurodegeneration.
OCTP Chief Executive, Dr John Lucas, said of the Oxford Stemtech partnership: “This exciting technology is delivered by a trusted partner. It is a natural evolution from the research collaboration agreement between OCT and Oxford University and is testament to the scientific excellence of its pain research project, led by Professor Zameel Cader.”
Dr Zameel Cader, Associate Professor of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Oxford and Director and Co-Founder of StemTech, said “We are very glad to be working with OCT to support the development of multiple programmes. StemTech has developed a new method that reduces the cost and increases the scale of reprogramming pluripotent stem cells from healthy volunteers and patients.
“This innovative approach allows us to develop in vitro human disease models for translational research. We are delighted that OCT has chosen StemTech as their partner of choice in their efforts to become the global leader in developing cannabinoid-based prescription medicines in pain and neurological disorders.”