PORTON DOWN, England, June 21, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- GW Pharmaceuticals plc (GWP:AIM) today announces the UK launch of Sativex(R), its Oromucosal Spray for the treatment of spasticity due to Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Sativex(R) is the world's first prescription cannabis medicine and the UK is the first country in the world to grant a full regulatory authorization for the product.
Sativex(R) contains two cannabinoids or active ingredients - THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). It is the first cannabinoid medicine derived from whole plant extracts from the cannabis sativa plant.
Sativex(R), available as a prescription only medicine, was developed by GW in specific response to calls from people with MS for a prescription cannabis-based medicine. Today's launch means that MS patients suffering the spasms and cramping associated with spasticity have access to a new treatment option which has been shown to improve their symptoms where current treatments have failed.
Sativex(R) is manufactured by GW under Home Office licence at an undisclosed location in the UK. The medicine is being marketed in the UK by GW's UK licensee, Bayer Schering Pharma.
Dr Geoffrey Guy, GW's Chairman, said: The approval and launch of Sativex(R) in the UK is the world's first full approval of a cannabis-derived prescription medicine and the product of eleven year's research by GW into the cannabinoid system. GW was founded with the primary goal of developing a medicine to address the unmet needs of people with MS and today's launch of Sativex(R) represents a welcome advance in MS symptom treatment. This is also an historic moment for GW and marks the beginning of the company's transition from late stage development company to a commercial pharmaceutical business. Today's news validates our cannabinoid technology platform and enables us to progress the development of our pipeline across a range of therapeutic areas with increased confidence.
Under the terms of the agreement with Bayer, GW will receive a GBP10m milestone payment in respect of the UK approval of Sativex(R).
Outside the UK, Sativex is expected to be approved in Spain shortly. Further submissions will be made in additional European countries during the second half of 2010 under the mutual recognition procedure. Almirall S.A. will market Sativex in Europe (ex-UK).
A series of photo images in connection with this story are available to download at http://www.fovea.tv and/or call Peter Corbin on +44(0)20-70892627.
GW Pharmaceuticals plc (Today) +44-20-7831-3113 Dr Geoffrey Guy, Chairman +44-1980-557000 Justin Gover, Managing Director GW PR Financial Media: Ben Atwell / John Dineen +44-20-7831-3113 Other Media: Mark Rogerson +44-7885-638810 Bayer Schering Pharma +44-7711-200384 Cherry Wood / Kim Lemon (Liberation +44-7771-561079 Communications) GW Advisers: Piper Jaffray Ltd +44-20-3142-8700 Neil Mackison / Rupert Winckler
For the full release including Note to Editors please visit: http://www.gwpharm.com
SOURCE: GW Pharmaceuticals plc
CONTACT: Enquiries: GW Pharmaceuticals plc, Dr Geoffrey Guy, Chairman,(Today) +44-20-7831-3113,, Justin Gover, Managing Director, +44-1980-557000; GW PR, Financial Media: Ben Atwell / John Dineen, +44-20-7831-3113 ;Other Media: Mark Rogerson, +44-7885-638810 ; Bayer Schering Pharma,+44-7711-200384 ; Cherry Wood / Kim Lemon (Liberation Communications),+44-7771-561079 ; GW Advisers: Piper Jaffray Ltd, Neil Mackison / RupertWinckler, +44-20-3142-8700