More MS news articles for Aug 2001

UK company begins trials of cannabis medicine in Canada

Story filed: 08:55 Tuesday 14th August 2001

GW Pharmaceuticals is to start trials of a cannabis-based medicine in Canada.

This is the first trial undertaken outside the UK by the company, and is believed to be the only trial of its kind in North America.

Patients will be tested with a cannabis extract which will be sprayed under the tongue.

It is claimed the drug will be effective in treating Multiple Sclerosis, spinal cord injuries and other forms of chronic pain.

In June, GW Pharmaceuticals raised £25 million through an initial public offering.

The company, which is based near Salisbury in Wiltshire, was founded three years ago and currently produces 15 tonnes of cannabis in secret locations in the UK each year. It aims to increase this to 100 tonnes.

Chief executive Dr Geoffrey Guy saw his paper fortune valued at £47 million when the company floated on the Alternative Investment Market.

He says: "'The start of clinical trials in Canada is the first phase of our international trials programme.

"We remain committed to the view that a non-smoked form of cannabis medicine, developed in full accordance with the standards of modern pharmaceuticals offers the best solution for patients."