|Born||1954 (age 67–68)|
Stanmore, Middlesex, England
|Known for||Co-founder GW Pharmaceuticals|
|Notable works||The Medicinal Uses of Cannabis and Cannabinoids (2004)|
Geoffrey William Guy (born 1954) is a British pharmacologist, physician, businessman and academic, who co-founded GW Pharmaceuticals and has developed treatments using compounds found in cannabis, which are the first cannabis-based medicines approved by and available on the British National Health Service (NHS).
In the 1980s and 1990s he was successful in the opiate painkiller business, and held appointments at the Laboratoires Pierre Fabre and the Napp laboratories. He was a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics, and has authored, contributed to and edited over 200 clinical studies and several books including The Medicinal Uses of Cannabis and Cannabinoids (2004).
Early life and education
Geoffrey Guy was born in 1954 in Stanmore, Middlesex, the only son and the youngest of three of a hospital administrator and his wife, a trainee nurse. Until age 13, he lived in Christchurch, Dorset, before moving to Barton on Sea. During his teens, he attended St Peter's School in Bournemouth, played rugby and was a member of the Air Training Corps.
Following A levels at a sixth form college near Brockenhurst, he gained admission to study medicine at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in pharmacology from the University of London in 1976. In 1979, he gained a medical degree from St Bartholomew's and in the same year completed his MRCS Eng., LRCP, and LMSSA of the Society of Apothecaries. In 1984 he gained a Diploma of Pharmaceutical Medicine from the Royal College of Physicians.
Guy began his career in the pharmaceutics industry in 1980 and became successful in the opiate painkiller business. From 1981 to 1983, he served as international clinical research co-ordinator at Laboratoires Pierre Fabre, where his research involved seeking out active ingredients in plants for the purpose of developing medicines. It led to the concept that there could be ingredients in the same plant that acted in opposition to each other.
From 1983 to 1985 he was director of clinical development at the Napp laboratories in Cambridge, where he worked on several opiates, including developing the slow-release morphine, morphine sulphate. He also worked to develop a medicine from a ten-component Chinese medicine, to treat atopic eczema. In 1985 he founded Ethical Holdings plc. In 1990, he co-founded the plant-medicines company that became Phytopharm plc, and became its chairman until 1997.
In 1998, he co-founded GW Pharmaceuticals with Brian Whittle. He obtained a licence from the UK Home Office to conduct research on compounds found in cannabis that might be useful as medicines. The first plants were grown in 1998 at a climate-controlled greenhouse in Southern England and clinical trials began the following year. Some insights into how this came about were later recounted in a witness seminar organised by the Wellcome Trust. His company was the first to obtain regulatory approval for a medicine based on cannabis. In June 2010, GW launched sativex in the UK, the world's first fully approved cannabis-based medicine. Licensed by the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, it is a prescription-only medicine for the treatment of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis. Its principal active components are the cannabinoids tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) in a ratio of approximately 50:50. Later, GW initiated clinical trials of a cannabidiol solution for the treatment of two rare forms of epilepsy in children; Lennox–Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. In 2018, the drug, under the brand name epidiolex, became the first cannabis-based medicine to obtain US Food and Drug Administration approval. In 2019, both sativex and epidiolex were made available to patients under the UK National Health Service.
In early 2021, it was announced that GW would be acquired by Dublin-based Jazz Pharmaceuticals for US$7.2 billion. The deal was completed in May 2021, at which time Guy resigned from the chairmanship of the company.
Awards and honours
In 2011 Guy was recipient of the Deloitte Director of the Year Award in Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare. In the same year he was appointed as visiting professor in the School of Science and Medicine at the University of Buckingham. In 2016, he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Science from the University of Reading and was also appointed visiting professor at the University of Westminster.
- Guy, Geoffrey William; Whittle, Brian Anthony; Robson, Philip (2004). The Medicinal Uses of Cannabis and Cannabinoids. Pharmaceutical Press. ISBN 978-0-85369-517-2.
- Guy, Geoffrey (2021). A Worthwhile Medicine: How the World's First Cannabis-Based Medication Was Approved. London: Profile Books. ISBN 978-1-78816-763-5.
- Whittle, Brian A.; Guy, Geoffrey W.; Robson, Philip (1 June 2001). "Prospects for New Cannabis-Based Prescription Medicines". Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics. 1 (3–4): 183–205. doi:10.1300/J175v01n03_12. ISSN 1529-9775. (Co-authored)
- Russo, Ethan; Guy, Geoffrey W. (2006). "A tale of two cannabinoids: the therapeutic rationale for combining tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol". Medical Hypotheses. 66 (2): 234–246. doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2005.08.026. ISSN 0306-9877. PMID 16209908. (Co-authored)
- Russo, Ethan B.; Guy, Geoffrey W.; Robson, Philip J. (2007). "Cannabis, Pain, and Sleep: Lessons from Therapeutic Clinical Trials of Sativex®, a Cannabis-Based Medicine". Chemistry & Biodiversity. 4 (8): 1729–1743. doi:10.1002/cbdv.200790150. ISSN 1612-1880. PMID 17712817. S2CID 38580755. (Co-authored)
- Nunn, Alistair V.W.; Guy, Geoffrey W.; Bell, Jimmy D. (15 August 2016). "The quantum mitochondrion and optimal health". Biochemical Society Transactions. 44 (4): 1101–1110. doi:10.1042/BST20160096. ISSN 0300-5127. PMC 5264502. PMID 27528758. (Co-authored)
- Guy, Geoffrey (2021). "2. Learning medicine". A Worthwhile Medicine: How the World's First Cannabis-Based Medication Was Approved. London: Profile Books. pp. 19–51. ISBN 978-1-78816-763-5.
- Crowther S. M, Reynolds L. A, Tansey E. M. (eds) (2010) The medicalization of cannabis, Wellcome Witnesses to Twentieth Century Medicine, vol. 40. London: The Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL. ISBN 978 085484 129 5. p.91
- Crowther S. M, Reynolds L. A, Tansey E. M. (eds) (2010) The medicalization of cannabis, Wellcome Witnesses to Twentieth Century Medicine, vol. 40. London: The Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL. ISBN 978 085484 129 5. pp.30–40
- Mills, James H. (2013). "8. 'I have decided to reclassify cannabis, subject to parliamentary approval': legislators, law-enforcers, campaigns and classification. 1997 -2008". Cannabis Nation: Control and Consumption in Britain, 1928–2008. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 202–203. ISBN 978-0-19-928342-2.
- GW Pharmaceuticals plc. p. 10.
- Ahrens, Dan (2021). "13. Pharmaceutical and biotech". Investing in Cannabis: The Next Great Investment Opportunity. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. p. 151. ISBN 978-1-119-69101-3.
- Iversen, Leslie L. (2001). The Science of Marijuana. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 10–11. ISBN 0-19-513123-1.
- "The Medicalization of Cannabis | The History of Modern Biomedicine". www.histmodbiomed.org. Retrieved 24 July 2021.
- Scialom, Mike (29 April 2021). "GW Pharmaceuticals wins Queen's Award as cannabinoid treatments proliferate". Cambridge Independent. Retrieved 17 August 2021.
- Elvidge, Suzanne (7 October 2010). "The Challenges Of Bringing A Cannabis-Based Drug To Market". www.pharmaceuticalonline.com. Archived from the original on 3 August 2021. Retrieved 3 August 2021.
- "Geoffrey Guy, Chairman, GW Pharma". PharmaBoardroom. 4 September 2018. Archived from the original on 11 August 2021. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
- Pertwee, Roger (2014). Handbook of Cannabis. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 287–288. ISBN 978-0-19-966268-5.
- "FDA Approves First Drug Comprised of an Active Ingredient Derived from Marijuana to Treat Rare, Severe Forms of Epilepsy". FDA. 27 March 2020. Archived from the original on 11 August 2021. Retrieved 11 August 2021.
- "EPIDIOLEX® (cannabidiol) Oral Solution – the First FDA-approved Plant-derived Cannabinoid Medicine – Now Available by Prescription in the U.S. | GW Pharmaceuticals". ir.gwpharm.com. 1 November 2018. Archived from the original on 11 August 2021. Retrieved 11 August 2021.
- Rubin, Rita (25 September 2018). "The Path to the First FDA-Approved Cannabis-Derived Treatment and What Comes Next". JAMA. 320 (12): 1227–1229. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.11914. ISSN 1538-3598. PMID 30193358. S2CID 205095819.
- "Cannabis-based medicines: Two drugs approved for NHS". BBC News. 11 November 2019. Archived from the original on 11 August 2021. Retrieved 11 August 2021.
- Banerjee, Ankur; Khan, Shariq; Rebecca, Spalding (3 February 2021). "Jazz Pharma to buy GW Pharma for $7.2 billion, adding cannabis-based drug to portfolio". Reuters. Archived from the original on 6 August 2021. Retrieved 6 August 2021.
- "Jazz Pharmaceuticals Completes Acquisition of GW Pharmaceuticals plc | Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc". investor.jazzpharma.com. Archived from the original on 6 August 2021. Retrieved 6 August 2021.
- "GW Pharmaceuticals Limited". find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 6 August 2021. Retrieved 6 August 2021.
- "University of Reading". University of Reading. Archived from the original on 19 July 2021. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
- Whipple-Guthrie, Ellen. "The Medicinal of Cannabis and Cannabinoids". mscare.org. Archived from the original on 11 August 2021. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
- "Geoffrey Guy". ir.gwpharm.com. Archived from the original on 11 August 2021. Retrieved 3 August 2021.
- "Leweston School Trust". scoriff.co.uk. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
- Guy, Geoffrey W.; Stott, Colin G. (2006). "The development of Sativex - a natural cannabis based medicine". In Mechoulam, Raphael (ed.). Cannabinoids as Therapeutics. Springer. p. 231. ISBN 3-7643-7055-6.
- "The Guy Foundation". The Guy Foundation Family Trust.