GW Pharmaceuticals: A Cannabis Company Investing In Healthcare

The cannabis rush is booming with all sectors experiencing exponential growth in terms of money, research and credibility.

However, the healthcare sector is making a lot of noise with cannabis organizations laying deep roots for the future of cannabis-derived medicines. The company spearheading this movement is GW Pharmaceuticals.

About GW Pharmaceuticals

GW Pharmaceuticals

GW Pharmaceuticals is a leading organization in the development of cannabinoid derived therapeutics based in the United States and the United Kingdom.

They have developed Epidiolex which is the first cannabinoid derived medicine to be approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and rescheduled by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency).

They have also created Sativex, the first cannabis-derived prescription medicine that is legal in 25 countries.

GW Pharmaceuticals continues to invest in cannabis-derived medicine as they currently have a deep line of products that are currently under development and undergoing clinical trials.

GW Pharmaceuticals Stock

GWPH (GW Pharmaceuticals Stock Symbol) has soared astronomically from $9 at its NASDAQ IPO to $111 in less than 12 months. Although this quick start had investors raving about this stock early on, much of its trailblazing momentum is up in smoke.

GWPH is currently trailing the S&P 500 by 9 percent (GWPH at 26 percent and S&P 500 at 35 percent).

Most of the slow down is due to the short-sightedness of many investors who did not expect the time-consuming process of federal regulations, lack of reimbursement contracts with insurance companies, worries of rising competition and the overall cost of Epidiolex.

GW Epilepsy Clinical Program

GW Pharmaceuticals is an organization that takes its clinical trials very seriously. They conduct wide-scale trials that involve many patients who actually receive doses and those who receive placebos in order to develop concrete evidence of their products effectiveness.

Their trials ensure that there is no discrimination between age, sex, race and circumstantial factors.

Aside from the quality of GW Pharmaceutical’s clinical trials, they are taking up an issue that is a top priority for many families and doctors around the globe.

GW Products: Epidiolex For Childhood Epilepsy

Epidiolex is GW Pharmaceutical’s cannabinoid derived medicine that was able to be approved by the FDA and rescheduled by the DEA that is safe for persons 2 years old and up. Epidiolex was formulated to treat two rare and severe early-onset, drug-resistant epilepsy syndromes known as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet Syndrome.

Aside from treating Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet Syndrome, Epidiolex has proven to aid with Infantile spasms (IS) and Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC).

Clinical Trials On Epidiolex

The effects of Epidiolex were studied through three randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trials involving 516 patients that suffered from either Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome.

Results of children with Dravet Syndrome showed that 43 percent who took Epidiolex experienced a 50 percent reduction of epileptic seizures and an amazing 5 percent of patients became seizure free.

Epidiolex also reported that patients with treatment-resistant Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome experienced significant drops in the frequency of seizures.

Additionally, it was found that in both children and adults, an additional 10 milligrams to 20 milligrams per kilogram of body weight each day to an existing anti-epileptic program experienced even greater reductions in the frequency of seizures.

Warnings And Contraindications

There are currently no contraindications (A condition or factor that creates a worthy reason to refrain from receiving certain medical treatments due to the overlapping harm it could inflict in a patient) that are held for the use of Epidiolex.

However, there is no available data that has tested women in regards to being pregnant or breastfeeding. With that being said, it is not recommended that women who are breastfeeding or pregnant consume Epidiolex.

The sole warning for the use of Epidiolex is that a patient should avoid a diet that consists of high-fat foods and high-calorie meals as it may increase an individual’s drug absorption rate.

Side Effects

Epidiolex holds a plethora of potential side effects. Fortunately, many of them are not life-threatening. The most commonly reported effects were:

  • Sleepiness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Sleep disorder and poor quality sleep
  • Diarrhea
  • Sedation and lethargy
  • Elevated liver enzymes
  • Rash
  • Fatigue
  • Malaise and weakness
  • Infections
  • Insomnia

More serious risks that accompany the use of Epidiolex that are listed on its medication guide are:

  • Thinking about suicide
  • Attempts to commit suicide
  • Aggression
  • Panic attacks
  • Feelings of agitation
  • New or worsening depression

During clinical trials, Epidiolex was shown to cause mild liver injury which could lead to more severe symptoms such as:

  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Nausea
  • Anorexia
  • Jaundice
  • Fatigue
  • Dark Urine

Epidiolex Dosage

The dosing protocol of Epidiolex is based on a patients bodyweight in kilograms. It is recommended that patients start with a dose of 2.5 milligrams per kilogram twice a day.

After a week of consistent use, a patient can increase their maintenance dose to 5 milligrams per kilogram twice a day.

If a patient seeks to experience further reduction, maximum dosage of 10 (twice a day) to 20 (once a day) milligrams per kilogram may be administered.

However, it should be noted that although both doses have been proven to be favorably safe, adverse reactions could occur.

GW Products: Sativex

Sativex is a treatment formulated to provide symptom relief for patients who suffer from moderate to severe cases of spasticity which has been caused by multiple sclerosis (MS) and has not been effectively treated with current therapy methods. Sativex is legal in 25 countries outside of the United States.

Therapeutic Indications

Sativex is designated as a treatment method for symptom improvement in adult patients who suffer from moderate to severe spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis (MS) that have not experienced adequate results from current and traditional anti-spasticity medications.

Sativex is usually advised for long-term treatment after a patient has shown significant improvement in spasticity related symptoms during an initial trial of dosing.

Administration

Sativex is provided in a spray container that must be shaken before use. The spray should be directed at numerous sites on a patient’s oromucosal surface, switching sites after each individual spray.

Patients are advised to be patients as it may take up to 2 weeks until an optimal dose is configured, which is the period where undesirable effects are most likely to occur such as dizziness.

Physicians recommend that be stopped or at the least reduced until undesired effects are fully resolved. It is also recommended that Sativex administration should be standardized as strictly as possible in relation to caloric intake.

Sativex Dosage

 

In order to reach an optimal does with Sativex, a 2 week titration period is usually required. Each proceeding day usually calls for an increase in sprays in the morning and/or afternoon (Between 4 PM and bedtime).

Dosage can be tested up to a maximum dose of 12 sprays in a day with at least 15 minutes in between each spray. (Titration Chart)

Warnings And Contraindications

GW Pharmaceuticals

Sativex is contraindicated in patients:

  • With hypersensitivity to cannabinoids or to any of the excipients listed in section 6.1
  • Who are breastfeeding (in view of the considerable levels of cannabinoids likely in maternal breast milk and the potential adverse developmental effects in infants).
  • With any known or suspected history or family history of schizophrenia, or other psychotic illness; history of severe personality disorder or other significant psychiatric disorder other than depression associated with their underlying condition.

Sativex possible risks and precautions include:

  • Mild or moderate dizziness
  • Alterations in pulse rate and blood pressure
  • Fainting episodes
  • Non-recommendation for patients with serious cardiovascular disease
  • Caution should be taken when treating patients with a history of epilepsy, or recurrent seizures
  • Psychiatric symptoms such as anxiety, illusions, changes in mood, and paranoid ideas
  • Disorientation (or confusion), hallucinations and delusional beliefs or transient psychotic reactions

GW Pharmaceuticals: Investing In Healthcare

GW Pharmaceuticals continues to invest in cannabis-derived medicine as they currently have a deep line of products that are currently under development and undergoing clinical trials.

Epidiolex was formulated by GW Pharmaceuticals to treat two rare and severe early-onset, drug-resistant epilepsy syndromes known as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet Syndrome.

Sativex is a treatment formulated to provide symptom relief for patients who suffer from moderate to severe cases of spasticity which has been caused by multiple sclerosis (MS) and has not been effectively treated with current therapy methods.