Marijuana-based epilepsy drug sales double, GW Pharma stock soaring

GW Pharma

There were a number of great developments in the marijuana sector on Tuesday. One of which came from Aurora Cannabis, which raised its revenue expectations for the fiscal fourth quarter much to the delight of investors.

The second major development came from a biopharmaceutical company known for creating the world’s first CBD-based drug. GW Pharma (NASDAQ: GWPH) saw its shares jumped by over 12 percent on Tuesday when it announced that sales of its child-epilepsy drug, Epidiolex, more than doubled from the previous quarter.

Epidiolex made news back in 2018 when it was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in treating rare epilepsy cases in children. This was a massive win for the cannabis industry, as Epidiolex uses cannabinoids (CBD) as the key ingredient in the drug.

While this might have ended up handicapping the CBD industry somewhat, as the FDA now regards the compounds as a drug rather than a regular food ingredient which has setback CBD-edibles and beverages in the U.S., it was still a significant win at the time.

GW Pharma ended up announced that sales of its Epidiolex drug was at $68.4 million for the quarter, in comparison to the $33.5 seen in Q1 2019. This more than surpassed analyst expectations, which had figured the company would see around $40.9 million worth of sales in the quarter.

“We are pleased to report a strong second quarter of sales of Epidiolex in the U.S., reflecting high demand by U.S. patients, increased prescribing by health care providers, and ongoing progress in payer-coverage determinations,” said GW Pharma Chief Executive Justin Glover in a statement.

Since the drug first launched, the company has over 12,000 patients now receiving prescriptions for the medicine which has been distributed to over 2,500 doctors. With positive results coming in, this figure is expected to balloon in the coming years despite the fact that the specific child epilepsy conditions in questions are quite rare in the U.S. GW Pharma also reported a second-quarter net income of $79.8 million, a significant improvement over last year where losses came in at $84 million.

Shares of GW Pharma jumped by 12.5 percent in after-hours trading in response to the development. For the most part, shares of the company have been hovering between the $160 and $185 price range for the past few months, having difficulty breaking out of what has been a pretty strong resistance level for the stock.

GW Pharmaceuticals Company Profile

GW Pharmaceuticals PLC is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing novel therapeutics from its proprietary cannabinoid product platform in a broad range of disease areas. Its business activities are functioned through three reportable segments which are Commercial, Sativex Research and Development and Pipeline Research and Development.

The company’s lead product candidate is Epidiolex, which is a liquid formulation of pure plant-derived cannabidiol used for the treatment of a number of rare childhood-onset epilepsy disorders. The company also develops and markets Sativex, an oromucosal spray for the treatment of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis. Geographically its presence can be seen across the region of UK, Europe, US, Canada, and others. – Warrior Trading News