Why the Upgrade?
GW Pharmaceuticals started fiscal 2015 on a positive note with the company reporting a narrower-than-expected loss in the first quarter.
GW Pharmaceuticals recently reported the release of encouraging data by the American Academy of Neurology on its medicinal liquid form of marijuana candidate – Epidiolex. Shares shot up 13.1% on the news.
Data from an open-label study on Epidiolex showed a reduction in the rate of seizures in people with epilepsy, for whom all other available treatment options have failed.
Epidiolex, which has been granted expanded access by the FDA, enjoys orphan drug status in both the U.S. and the EU.
Epidiolex is currently being evaluated in a phase III study for Dravet syndrome with phase III studies for Lennox-Gastaut syndrome expected to commence in the second quarter of 2015.
Apart from Epidiolex, other pipeline candidates include GWP42003, which is in a phase IIa study for the treatment of schizophrenia. Data from the study is expected in the second half of 2015. Additionally, GWP42003 is being developed for the treatment of ulcerative colitis.
Meanwhile, the company is also trying to expand the label of its only approved drug, Sativex, currently approved for the treatment of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis. Sativex is being evaluated in a phase III study for the treatment of pain associated with cancer.