Exclusive: GW Pharmaceuticals Talks Epidiolex, Raising Capital & Growing Its Sales Force


GW Pharmaceuticals PLC- ADR GWPH, a developer of cannabinoid prescription medicines, saw its stock surge Monday after the company reported positive results from a clinical study.

Wall Street took notice with some firms reaffirming their bullish stance on the stock and placing price targets which call for further gains ahead.

Benzinga had the opportunity to speak with GW Pharma in light of this news.

Potential Sales Partnerships

The company will handle the regulatory review and commercialization of its drug, Epidiolex, in the U.S. and Europe independently. The company has already established a U.S. headquarters in California along with a team of professional with experience in the field of epilepsy and a proven track record of bringing investigational medicines, through the regulatory approval process and market the product in the U.S.

"We are growing our U.S. team rapidly, which will include a sales force," a GW Pharma spokesperson told Benzinga.

Related Link: Why This Epidiolex Trial Was Different

Pricing, Insurance Coverage

GW Pharma told Benzinga it's "premature to speculate" on the pricing of Epidiolex and "too early to speculate on insurance coverage."

In the meantime, the company's objective is to "demonstrate the value of Epidiolex in severe, treatment-resistant types of epilepsy."


Market Size

GW Pharma said that based on the latest estimates, there are more than 30,000 patients with LGS in the U.S. and around 16,000 people with Dravet Syndrome.

"GW will market Epidiolex for approved indications," the spokesperson added. "We expect to submit an NDA to the FDA for the reduction of seizures in people who have Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome in the first half of 2017."

Capital Raise & Financial Advisers

When asked why the company raised capital in 2016, the spokesperson said the company is using the proceeds to support re-launch activities for Epidiolex, expand its manufacturing facility to meet anticipated demand and build inventory, prepare for a launch and clinical development of Epidiolex for additional orphan indications.

The spokesperson said it doesn't "comment on speculation" when asked to comment on market reports management tasked the investment bank Morgan Stanley with exploring strategic alternatives.

Analyst Reaction

Alan Brochstein, Founder of 420 Investor, offered Benzinga his quick take on GW Pharma's California-based facilities.

He pointed out that GW Pharma's sales force has been in development since last year and the company's CEO office is now located in California. As such, this is an "asset" for the company upon approval of its drug as it will keep all of the revenue.

"They have a huge running head start as well due to the expanded access trials that they have been conducting," Brochstein added. "They know the medical community well already."

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Posted In: BiotechHealth CareTop StoriesExclusivesInterviewGeneralAlan BrochsteinCannabinoid MedicinesEpidiolex
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