GW Pharmaceuticals

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

GW Pharmaceuticals Limited
  • GW Pharmaceuticals Group PLC (2001–2001)
  • GW Pharmaceuticals PLC (2001–2021)[1]
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryPharmaceutical industry
Founded1998; 26 years ago (1998)
  • Geoffrey Guy
  • Brian Whittle
United Kingdom
Key people
Justin Gover (CEO)
RevenueIncrease $527 million (2020)
Decrease -$58 million (2020)
Total assetsIncrease $939 million (2020)
Total equityIncrease $741 million (2020)
Number of employees
1,161 (2020)
ParentJazz Pharmaceuticals Edit this at Wikidata
Footnotes / references

GW Pharmaceuticals Limited[1] 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.[3] Another cannabis-based product, Epidiolex, was approved for treatment of epilepsy by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2018.[4] It is a subsidiary of Jazz Pharmaceuticals.


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.[5]

Later in 1998, GW Pharmaceuticals entered into a contract with Hortapharm B.V., a cannabis research and development corporation based in Amsterdam.[6][7]

In 2001, GW Pharmaceuticals listed on the Alternative Investment Market, the junior market of the London Stock Exchange.[8] In May 2013, the company became dual-listed on the NASDAQ and AIM.[9]

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.[10]

In May 2021, Jazz Pharmaceuticals acquired the company.[11][12]



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.[13]

Nabiximols is made with two unknown Cannabis strains, and is extracted with ethanol and carbon dioxide.[14]

In 2020, GW Pharmaceuticals concluded a partnership with Bayer for the distribution of Sativex in the UK.[15] It has an estimated annual production of 100 tons of medicinal cannabis.[16]


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.[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[edit]


  1. ^ a b "GW PHARMACEUTICALS LIMITED overview - Find and update company information - GOV.UK". Companies House. 15 February 2001. Retrieved 3 August 2023.
  2. ^ "GW Pharmaceuticals PLC 2020 Form 10-K Annual Report". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  3. ^ Landau, Elizabeth (21 June 2010). "World's first fully approved cannabis drug on sale in UK". CNN.
  4. ^ Goldschmidt, Debra; Scutti, Susan (25 June 2018). "FDA approves first cannabis-based drug". CNN.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Breen, Bill (1 February 2004). "The Cannabis Conundrum". Fast Company.
  7. ^ Breen, Bill (1 February 2004). "Dr. Dope's Connection". Fast Company.
  8. ^ "GW Pharma aims for $150m in Nasdaq offering". Financial Times. 18 June 2014.
  9. ^ "UK Cannabis Grower on a High With Wall Street Funding Bid". International Business Times. 21 December 2013.
  10. ^ Drury, Tracey (6 June 2014). "Cuomo OKs limited medical marijuana trial in NYS". American City Business Journals.
  11. ^ "Jazz Pharmaceuticals Completes Acquisition of GW Pharmaceuticals plc" (Press release). PR Newswire. 5 May 2021.
  12. ^ Sharrow, Ryan (5 May 2021). "Jazz Pharmaceuticals shares rise on $7.2B acquisition of cannabis-based drugmaker". American City Business Journals.
  13. ^ "The man who secretly (and legally) grows 20 tonnes of cannabis a year". The Guardian. 17 April 2011.
  14. ^ "Cannabinoid liquid formulations for mucosal amdinistration [sic]". Google Patents.
  15. ^ "GW Pharmaceuticals regains exclusive commercialisation rights to Sativex® (nabiximols) in the UK from Bayer" (Press release). GW Pharmaceuticals. 2 March 2020.
  16. ^ Medical Cannabis Strains – Geoffrey Guy, MD (GW Pharmaceuticals, UK (Conference). 23 February 2010 – via YouTube.
  17. ^ Ward, Andrew (9 January 2014). "GW raises nearly $90m to develop childhood epilepsy treatment". Financial Times.
  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. 24 June 2019.
  22. ^ "Medical cannabis product approved for epilepsy". BBC News. 23 September 2019.

External links[edit]