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GW Pharmaceuticals says Sativex sales top expectations, but full year profit drops

GW Pharmaceuticals says Sativex sales top expectations, but full year profit drops

GW Pharmaceuticals (LON:GWP) told investors that while its full year profits declined, they still topped expectations thanks to stronger than anticipated sales of its cannabis based multiple sclerosis drug Sativex.

In the twelve months to end September, GW posted a pre-tax profit of £2.5 million, below last year’s £4.6 million profit, but ahead of expectations for 2011.

Revenues reached £29.6 million, in line with revenues of £30.7 million in 2010, as Sativex sales jumped 59 percent to £4.4 million, while milestone income amounted to £5.3 million compared to £11.2 million a year earlier. The group’s cash position has increased from £25.2 million at the end of 2010 to £28.3 million.

Sativex sales were lifted by its launch in the UK, Germany, Spain and Denmark during the past year with GW expecting further approvals and launches in Europe in the current financial year.

The drug is expected to be launched in the Czech Republic, Italy, Sweden, and Austria in the coming months.

The group has also signed license agreements to commercialise Sativex in Australasia, Asia (excluding Japan and China), the Middle East and Africa.

“The recent launch of Sativex in the key German market has been particularly encouraging and with the international commercial roll-out of Sativex gathering pace, we look forward to continued sales growth and further approvals and launches in Europe in the year ahead,” said chairman of GW Geoffrey Guy.

“Beyond Europe, we look forward to working with Novartis to commercialise Sativex in a number of key emerging markets.”

The group also updated investors on its ongoing research and development (R&D) activities.

Recruiting for two Sativex Phase III cancer pain trials is currently on track; the trial is currently in an advanced stage of planning and is due to begin in the first half of 2012.

Meanwhile, three Phase IIa clinical trials of GW’s medicines, GWP42003 and GWP42004, in diabetes and metabolic disease are currently underway. In addition, phase IIa clinical trial of GWP42003 in ulcerative colitis is expected to kick off in the first quarter of 2012.

“We remain confident that our ongoing research programme provides a wealth of opportunity for further growth and value creation,” said Guy.

Shares in GW Pharmaceuticals traded at 98 pence this morning, down two percent from Monday’s close. The group currently has a market cap of £130.3 million.

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