OCT Announces 2nd Clinical Trial, Chill Brands Investor Calls For Director Ousting, & More From SEED


Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies 


Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies (OCT) has announced plans to launch a Phase 1 clinical trial into a second compound after partnering with Australian contract research organisation (CRO) iNGENū.

This week, the company announced that its subsidiary, OCT Victoria, has entered into an agreement with iNGENū to conduct a Phase 1 randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled dose escalation study for OCT130401, the second drug it has in development.

Its second programme is initially targeted at treating Trigeminal Neuralgia, a chronic pain condition that affects the face.

The initial trial, set to commence in Q2 of 2024, will aim to establish the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of the drug before moving onto more advanced testing.

OCT’s CEO, Clarissa Sowemimo-Coker, said: “iNGENū is a well-recognised CRO, with a specific expertise in cannabinoids and the Australia regime also affords a direct path to US FDA approval which is an important target for the Company. Today’s appointment and our confirmation that clinical trials will begin in Q2 2024 demonstrate that OCT continues to hit its milestones and is making good progress.”

In September 2023, OCT announced that it had completed Phase 1 clinical trials for its lead compound, which will focus on the $1.61bn chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) market.

While the company was forced to delay progress on its secondary compound in 2022 due to budget constraints, the imminent launch of a second clinical trial marks a significant milestone for the company.

The company also has another two compounds in the pipeline, spawned by a 2021 licensing deal with Canopy Growth, which gave it access to its entire cannabinoid derivative library.

While Programmes 3 and 4 were also pushed back in 2022 so the company could focus on its lead compound, it announced promising developments for Programme 4 last year.

In July 2023, OCT informed investors that it had identified a potential ‘first in class’ immunotherapy treatment for solid tumours as part of its Programme 4, which it suggested could be ‘much, much more cost-effective from a healthcare provider point of view’, leading to a bump in stock price.


Chill Brands 


Chill Brands has received a requisition letter from a major shareholder pushing for an immediate change in leadership.

Jonathan Mark Swann, who owns 12.58% of the company’s total voting rights, has called for a general meeting of the company’s shareholders to vote on the ousting of two directors.

Mr Swann has called for Antonio Russo and Trevor Taylor, both of whom were appointed to the board of directors in 2020, to be removed with immediate effect.

In their place, he suggests that a Graham Duncan and Aditya Chathli be appointed and that any director appointed to the company ‘since the date’ of the requisitioned meeting be removed with immediate effect.

Under Section 303 of the Companies Act 2006, any shareholder with at least 5% of the voting shares can request a general meeting be held, which directors are obligated to call within 28 days should the requisition be valid.

Chill Brands says it is consulting legal advice to determine if the request is valid, and is able to refuse the requisition if they can demonstrate that it is ‘frivolous or vexatious’.

The letter makes no reference to the reasons behind Mr Swann’s request.


SEED Innovations 


SEED Innovations has seen its stock jump by nearly 40% this week after announcing its first ‘special dividend’ for investors.

The dividend was announced days after the London Stock Exchange-listed cannabis investment firm received its second and final tranche of proceeds from the sale of its investee company, Leap Gaming.

SEED completed the sale of the company in April 2023, receiving a total of £4.9m (€5.8m), including a £2.7m initial payment and a second payment for the remaining balance of £2.4m on April 12, 2024.

According to the company, the completion of the sale ‘has contributed to SEED’s strong cash position of over £6m, which remains higher than its market capitalisation’.

Days later, SEED declared a special dividend of 1p per share, which is expected to be paid on May 13, 2024, to shareholders on the register of members of the company as of April 26, 2024.

Ed McDermott, CEO of SEED, commented: “It has long been an ambition of ours to pay a special dividend to reward shareholders.

“This achievement underscores our confidence in the company’s current financial strength and future prospects, as we believe our existing portfolio and new investments have the potential in the next years to replace the value paid to shareholders now.

“Whilst we remain in difficult equity markets, we are seeing attractive investment opportunities, particularly in businesses seeking to fund growth.”


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