December 28, 2002
By Nick Hasell
SHARES in GW Pharmaceuticals yesterday hit a record high amid growing hopes that the developer of cannabis-based medicines will soon seal a marketing and distribution deal with a major drugs group.
Expectations of a tie-up were stoked by last month’s positive data from phase three clinical trials conducted by GW. In a study involving 350 patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, GW reported that each of the four trials of its product showed “statistically significant” reductions in neuropathic pain and sleep disturbance.
Armed with those results, the AIM-listed company said that it would submit its first regulatory application to the Medicines Control Agency in early 2003, with the UK market launch of its first cannabis-based treatment expected before the end of the year.
There has been growing speculation over the past month that GW is in talks with AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline on a marketing and distribution agreement.
Those rumours, together with thin stock market conditions, combined
to squeeze the shares sharply higher yesterday. GW, floated at 180p two
years ago, rose 11p to a record 200p, giving it a market capitalisation
of more than £200 million. The FTSE 250 faded 15.9 points to 4,277.5.
Copyright 2003 Times Newspapers Ltd