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GW Pharmaceuticals ready to accelerate childhood epilepsy drug development

GW Pharmaceuticals ready to accelerate childhood epilepsy drug development

GW Pharmaceuticals (LON:GWP) told investors its lead epilepsy product candidate has the potential to meet significant unmet needs in childhood epilepsy, and the US$101mln it raised recently it can accelerate the programme.

It raised the cash through the issue of ADS shares on the NASDAQ exchange this month, and it is to be ploughed into the Epidiolex development programme.

Epidiolex has a US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) orphan drug designation for the treatment of Dravet syndrome (a type of childhood epilepsy), and approval has been granted for a programme to treat 125 children.

Treatment is now beginning in this programme, and initial data is expected by mid-2014.

Other programmes are ongoing and will provide findings this year also.

In the meantime work continues on the Sativex drug, with separate Phase 3 trials ongoing for cancer pain and MS. Also following recent approvals, the Sativex drug has now been approved in 25 countries.

“With the new funds raised, we have the financial strength to accelerate this development program whilst retaining global commercial rights," said chief executive Justin Gover.

"In addition to our orphan epilepsy programme, as we move through 2014, we expect a significant amount of milestones, including Phase 3 cancer pain data for Sativex as well as important clinical progress across our robust pipeline of cannabinoid product candidates."

Revenues in three months to December 31 were £7.5mln, up from £5.2mln in the same period of the prior year, and the group made a £2.8mln loss, versus a £2.1mln profit in the three months to December 31 2012.

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