GW Pharmaceuticals Announces the European Medicines Agency (EMA) Accepts Epidiolex® (cannabidiol) Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) for Review
LONDON and CARLSBAD, Calif., Feb. 05, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- GW Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq:GWPH) (“GW,” “the Company” or “the Group”), a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercialising novel therapeutics from its proprietary cannabinoid product platform, announced today that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has accepted for review the Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) for Epidiolex® (cannabidiol) for adjunctive treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome. This acceptance follows submission of the MAA in December 2017.
“The successful filing of the MAA for Epidiolex with the EMA builds on the momentum of acceptance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of the Epidiolex New Drug Application in December and recent publication of Phase 3 LGS results in The Lancet,” said Justin Gover, GW's Chief Executive Officer. “We continue to build European commercial infrastructure in anticipation of future approval and launch with the goal of making this important new medicine available to appropriate patients and their caregivers, addressing the significant unmet need in LGS and Dravet syndrome, two rare and debilitating conditions of childhood-onset epilepsy.”
The outcome of the MAA review by the EMA is expected in Q1 2019. In preparation for the commercialization of Epidiolex in Europe, GW continues to hire staff in the areas of medical affairs, market access and marketing, all with strong epilepsy or specialist disease experience. Significant progress has been made in hiring country leadership and local medical staff in the five major European markets. This European commercial effort is being led by Chief Operating Officer Chris Tovey, who has significant experience commercializing and launching pharmaceutical products, including within the field of epilepsy.
About Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome
The onset of LGS typically occurs between ages of 3 to 5 years and can be caused by a number of conditions, including brain malformations, severe head injuries, central nervous system infections, and genetic neuro-degenerative or metabolic conditions. In up to 30 percent of patients, no cause can be found. Patients with LGS commonly have multiple seizure types including drop and convulsive seizures, which frequently lead to falls and injuries, and non-convulsive seizures. Resistance to anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) is common in patients with LGS. Most children with LGS experience some degree of intellectual impairment, as well as developmental delays and aberrant behaviors.
About Dravet Syndrome
Dravet syndrome is a severe infantile-onset and highly treatment-resistant epileptic encephalopathy frequently associated with genetic mutations in the SCN1A sodium channels. Onset of Dravet syndrome occurs typically during the first year of life in previously healthy and developmentally normal infants. Initial seizures are often body temperature related, severe, and long-lasting. Over time, patients with Dravet syndrome often develop multiple types of seizures, including tonic-clonic, myoclonic, and atypical absences and are prone to bouts of prolonged seizures including status epilepticus, which can be life threatening. Risk of premature death including SUDEP (sudden unexpected death in epilepsy) is elevated in patients with Dravet syndrome. Additionally, the majority will develop moderate to severe intellectual and development disabilities and require lifelong supervision and care. There are currently no FDA-approved treatments and nearly all patients continue to experience seizures and other medical needs throughout their lifetime.
About Epidiolex® (cannabidiol)
Epidiolex, GW's lead cannabinoid product candidate is a pharmaceutical formulation of purified cannabidiol (CBD), which is in development for the treatment of several rare childhood-onset epilepsy disorders. GW has submitted a New Drug Application with the FDA for Epidiolex as adjunctive treatment for seizures associated with LGS and Dravet syndrome, which has been assigned a goal date of 27 June 2018 and, if approved, the medicine is expected to be available by prescription in the second half of 2018. GW has also submitted a Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) with an expected decision date in early 2019. To date, GW has received Orphan Drug Designation from the FDA for Epidiolex for the treatment of Dravet syndrome, LGS, TSC and IS. Additionally, GW has received Fast Track Designation from the FDA for the treatment of Dravet syndrome and conditional grant of rare pediatric disease designation by FDA. The Company has also received Orphan Designation from the European Medicines Agency, or EMA, for Epidiolex for the treatment of LGS, Dravet syndrome, West syndrome and TSC. GW is currently evaluating additional clinical development programs in other orphan seizure disorders including Phase 3 trials in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex and Infantile Spasms.
About GW Pharmaceuticals plc and Greenwich Biosciences
Founded in 1998, GW 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. GW, along with its U.S. subsidiary Greenwich Biosciences, is advancing an orphan drug program in the field of childhood epilepsy with a focus on Epidiolex (cannabidiol), for which GW has submitted an NDA to the FDA and an MAA with the EMA for the adjunctive treatment of LGS and Dravet syndrome. The Company continues to evaluate Epidiolex in additional epilepsy conditions and currently has ongoing clinical trials in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex and Infantile Spasms. GW commercialized the world’s first plant-derived cannabinoid prescription drug, Sativex® (nabiximols), which is approved for the treatment of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis in numerous countries outside the United States. The Company has a deep pipeline of additional cannabinoid product candidates which includes compounds in Phase 1 and 2 trials for gliobastoma, schizophrenia and epilepsy. For further information, please visit www.gwpharm.com.
This news release contains forward-looking statements that reflect GW's current expectations regarding future events, including statements regarding financial performance, the timing of clinical trials, the timing and outcomes of regulatory or intellectual property decisions, the relevance of GW products commercially available and in development, the clinical benefits of Epidiolex® (cannabidiol) and the safety profile and commercial potential of Epidiolex. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual events could differ materially from those projected herein and depend on a number of factors, including (inter alia), the success of GW’s research strategies, the applicability of the discoveries made therein, the successful and timely completion and uncertainties related to the regulatory process, and the acceptance of Sativex, Epidiolex and other products by consumer and medical professionals. A further list and description of risks and uncertainties associated with an investment in GW can be found in GW’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including the most recent Form 20-F filed on 4 December 2017. Existing and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. GW undertakes no obligation to update or revise the information contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or circumstances or otherwise.
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