GW Pharmaceuticals

GW Pharmaceuticals is a British pharmaceutics company known for its multiple sclerosis treatment product nabiximols (brand name, Sativex) which was the first natural cannabis plant derivative to gain market approval in any country.[2] Another cannabis-based product, Epidiolex, was approved for treatment of epilepsy by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2018.[3] It is a subsidiary of Jazz Pharmaceuticals.

GW Pharmaceuticals PLC
IndustryPharmaceutical industry
Founded1998 (1998)
FounderGeoffrey Guy
Brian Whittle
United Kingdom
Key people
Justin Gover (CEO)
ProductsEpidiolex (Epidyolex in Europe)
Nabiximols (Sativex)
Revenue $527 million (2020)
-$58 million (2020)
Total assets $939 million (2020)
Total equity $741 million (2020)
Number of employees
1,161 (2020)
ParentJazz Pharmaceuticals
Footnotes / references


GW Pharmaceuticals was founded in 1998 by doctors Geoffrey Guy and Brian Whittle. That year, they obtained a cultivation license from the United Kingdom Home Office and the MHRA, allowing the company to cultivate, possess and supply cannabis to conduct scientific research concerning medical cannabis.[4]

Later in 1998, GW Pharmaceuticals entered into a contract with Hortapharm B.V., a cannabis research and development corporation based in Amsterdam.[5][6]

In 2001, GW Pharmaceuticals listed on the Alternative Investment Market, the junior market of the London Stock Exchange.[7] In May 2013, the company became dual-listed on the NASDAQ and AIM.[8]

In 2014, the company made a deal with New York to develop clinical trials using cannabidiol (CBD) to treat children who suffer from seizures and other medical complications.[9]

In May 2021, Jazz Pharmaceuticals acquired the company.[10][11]



Nabiximols (trade name Sativex) is a botanical drug that is a cannabis extract, administered as a mouth spray; it was approved in the UK in 2010 as a treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients to alleviate neuropathic pain, spasticity, overactive bladder, and other symptoms.[12]

Nabiximols is made with two unknown Cannabis strains, and is extracted with ethanol and carbon dioxide.[13]

In 2020, GW Pharmaceuticals concluded a partnership with Bayer for the distribution of Sativex in the UK.[14] It has an estimated annual production of 100 tons of medicinal cannabis.[15]


In 2015, GW Pharmaceutical initiated Phase 3 clinical trials of cannabidiol oral solution for treatment of two rare disease in children – Dravet syndrome and Lennox–Gastaut syndrome.[16][17] In August 2015, GW received FDA Fast Track Development Program designation from the US Food and Drug Administration for use of the drug candidate to treat newborns with epilepsy.[18]

The drug, under the brand name Epidiolex, was given US Food and Drug Administration approval in June 2018.[19][20] It was subsequently given European EMA approval in September 2019 under the brand name Epidyolex.[21][22]

See also


  1. "GW Pharmaceuticals PLC 2020 Form 10-K Annual Report". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  2. Landau, Elizabeth (21 June 2010). "World's first fully approved cannabis drug on sale in UK". CNN.
  3. Goldschmidt, Debra; Scutti, Susan (25 June 2018). "FDA approves first cannabis-based drug". CNN.
  4. Mathre, Mary Lynn (July 1997). Cannabis in Medical Practice: A Legal, Historical, and Pharmacological Overview of the Therapeutic Use of Marijuana (Google eBook). ISBN 9780786403615 via Google Books.
  5. Breen, Bill (1 February 2004). "The Cannabis Conundrum". Fast Company.
  6. Breen, Bill (1 February 2004). "Dr. Dope's Connection". Fast Company.
  7. "GW Pharma aims for $150m in Nasdaq offering". Financial Times. 18 June 2014.
  8. "UK Cannabis Grower on a High With Wall Street Funding Bid". International Business Times. 21 December 2013.
  9. Drury, Tracey (6 June 2014). "Cuomo OKs limited medical marijuana trial in NYS". American City Business Journals.
  10. "Jazz Pharmaceuticals Completes Acquisition of GW Pharmaceuticals plc" (Press release). PR Newswire. 5 May 2021.
  11. Sharrow, Ryan (5 May 2021). "Jazz Pharmaceuticals shares rise on $7.2B acquisition of cannabis-based drugmaker". American City Business Journals.
  12. "The man who secretly (and legally) grows 20 tonnes of cannabis a year". The Guardian. 17 April 2011.
  13. "Cannabinoid liquid formulations for mucosal amdinistration [sic]". Google Patents.
  14. "GW Pharmaceuticals regains exclusive commercialisation rights to Sativex® (nabiximols) in the UK from Bayer" (Press release). GW Pharmaceuticals. 2 March 2020.
  15. Medical Cannabis Strains – Geoffrey Guy, MD (GW Pharmaceuticals, UK (Conference). 23 February 2010 via YouTube.
  16. Ward, Andrew (9 January 2014). "GW raises nearly $90m to develop childhood epilepsy treatment". Financial Times.
  17. Butticè, Claudio (9 December 2015). "Therapeutic Cannabis for children – a possible new treatment for epilepsy". Meds News.
  18. "GW Pharmaceuticals Receives FDA Fast Track and EMA Orphan Designations for Intravenous Cannabidiol in the Treatment of Neonatal Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (NHIE)" (Press release). GlobeNewswire. 6 August 2015.
  19. "FDA approves country's first medicine made from marijuana". STAT. 25 June 2018.
  20. Kollewe, Julia (25 June 2018). "UK epilepsy drug to become first cannabis-based medicine in US". The Guardian.
  21. "Epidyolex". European Medicines Agency.
  22. "Medical cannabis product approved for epilepsy". BBC News. 23 September 2019.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.