For years GW Pharmaceuticals has looked like one of the only seriously legitimate stocks in the highly hyped so-called pot-stock sector and on Monday the British company gave investors more proof that it was for real.
GW Pharmaceuticals reported that its cannabinoid drug, Epidolex, reduced seizures for children suffering from a rare and debilitating form of epilepsy in a 120-patient trial.
Shares of GW Pharmaceuticals soared on the news, rising 130% to $88.94 on Monday.
In a sea of iffy publicly-traded companies trying to capitalize on changes in state laws allowing the use of marijuana for medical and even recreational purposes, GW Pharmaceuticals has stood out for its serious effort to develop marijuana-derived medicines for numerous diseases. The company has been around for years and is listed on Nasdaq. It has commercialized Sativex for the treatment of symptoms of multiple sclerosis and has four late-stage trials ongoing for severe forms of epilepsy.
GW Pharmaceuticals’ Epidolex drug is being developed to target Dravet syndrome, which is a form of childhood epilepsy that hits before babies reach their first birthday. In the phase III trial reported on Monday, patients receiving Epidolex, a liquid formulation of highly purified CBD extract, experienced a statistically significant median reduction in monthly convulsive seizures of 39% compared with a reduction on placebo of 13%. The company said it will be making further moves to gain FDA approval for Epidolex, which could be the first prescription marijuana drug in the U.S.
“The results of this Epidiolex pivotal trial are important and exciting as they represent the first placebo-controlled evidence to support the safety and efficacy of pharmaceutical cannabidiol in children with Dravet syndrome,” Orrin Devinsky, a doctor at New York University Langone Medical Center’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, said in a statement released by GW Pharmaceuticals. “These data demonstrate that Epidiolex delivers clinically important reductions in seizure frequency together with an acceptable safety and tolerability profile.”
SOURCE: http://www.forbes.com, by NATHAN VARDI
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