GW Pharmaceuticals

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GW Pharmaceuticals PLC
Public Limited Company
Industry Pharmaceutical
Founded 1998
Founder Dr Geoffrey Guy and Dr Brian Whittle
Headquarters Porton Down Science Park[1], United Kingdom
Key people
Justin Gover[2]
Products Sativex®
Revenue $33.8 million[3]
Divisions Biotechnology

GW Pharmaceuticals is a British biopharmaceutical company known for its multiple sclerosis treatment product Sativex, nabiximols (brand name, Sativex). Sativex is the first natural cannabis plant derivative to gain full market approval in any country.[4] Its cannabis-based product, Epidiolex, developed for experimental treatment of epilepsy, will undergo multiple phase 3 trials in 2015.[5][6]



Drs. Geoffrey Guy and Brian Whittle founded GW Pharmaceuticals in 1998. In the same year, they obtained the only cultivation license in the United Kingdom from the Home Office and the MHRA, allowing GW Pharmaceuticals to cultivate cannabis from seeds and clones to conduct scientific research concerning the medicinal uses of the plant.[7][8]


In July 1998, GW Pharmaceuticals collaborated with HortaPharm B.V., a cannabis research and development business based in the Netherlands,[9] founded by two expert horticulturists from California,[10] Robert Connell Clarke[11] and David Paul Watson, also known as 'Sam the Skunkman'. [12] HortaPharm grew medicinal strains for the Dutch government.[13] [14] [15] [16]


Main article: Nabiximols

Nabiximols (trade name Sativex) is a patented cannabis mouth spray developed by GW Pharmaceuticals for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, who can use it to alleviate neuropathic pain, spasticity, overactive bladder, and other symptoms. Nabiximols is also being developed in Phase III trials as a potential treatment to alleviate pain due to cancer. It has also been researched in various models of peripheral and central neuropathic pain.

Nabiximols is made with two unknown Cannabis strains, and is extracted with ethanol and carbon dioxide.[17][18]


In 2011, GW Pharmaceuticals concluded a partnership with Bayer for the distribution of Sativex in the UK,[19] and have an estimated annual production of 100 tons of medicinal cannabis since 2012.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gw Pharmaceuticals Ltd". 
  2. ^ The Observer, Sunday 17 April 2011).
  3. ^ "Prices and markets Stocks of GW PHARM". 28 June 2001. 
  4. ^ "World's first fully approved cannabis drug on sale in UK, By Elizabeth Landau,". 21 June 2010. 
  5. ^ Ward, Andrew (9 January 2014). "GW raises nearly $90m to develop childhood epilepsy treatment". Financial Times. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  6. ^ plc, GW Pharmaceuticals. "GW Pharmaceuticals Initiates Second Phase 3 Pivotal Study of Epidiolex(R) (CBD) in Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome". Retrieved 2015-09-20. 
  7. ^ "GW Pharm responds to CC (By Pete Brady – Friday, April 25, 2003)". 25 April 2003. 
  8. ^ Cannabis in Medical Practice: A Legal, Historical, and Pharmacological Overview of the Therapeutic Use of Marijuana (Google eBook). 
  9. ^ "The Inheritance of Chemical Phenotype in Cannabis sativa L.(HortaPharm B.V., 1075 VS, Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Instituto Sperimentale per le Colture Industriali, 40128 Bologna, Italy)" (PDF). 1 January 2003. 
  10. ^ "sam-the-skunkman [Four Twenty Wiki]". 16 August 2011. 
  11. ^ "inauthor:"Robert Connell Clarke" - Google Search". 
  12. ^ "(DAVID A WATSON 49366-018 55-White-M UNKNOWN NOT IN BOP CUSTODY) david watson aka SKUNKMAN". 
  13. ^ "Seeds from the marijuana cultivar Skunk no. 1 were provided by HortaPharm BV (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) and imported under a US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) permit to a registered controlled substance research facility." (PDF). 
  14. ^ "Details released of collaboration between GW Pharmaceuticals and HortaPharm medicinal cannabis". 
  15. ^ Breen, Bill (1 February 2004). "The Cannabis Conundrum". 
  16. ^ Breen, Bill (1 February 2004). "Dr. Dope's Connection". 
  17. ^ "Extraction of pharmaceutically active components from plant materials". 
  18. ^ "Is Big Pharma set to corner the American market on medical marijuana?". 25 April 2011. 
  19. ^ "GWPharma – GW and Bayer Announce Marketing Agreement on Pioneering New Cannabis-based Treatment". 30 September 2004. 
  20. ^ "Medical Cannabis Strains – Geoffrey Guy, MD (GW Pharmaceuticals, UK (Conference)". 23 February 2010. 

External links[edit]