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GW In Cannabis Research Deal With Japan's Otsuka

Lord Mong

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GW Pharmaceuticals has signed a deal with Japan's Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co to research and develop drugs based on cannabis as treatments for cancer and central-nervous-system disorders.

GW, which has a dispensation from the British government to use cannabis for medical research, said on Monday the agreement was initially for three years, during which privately owned Otsuka would make $9 million (4.5 million pounds) available for research.

It follows a deal in February when Otsuka bought the rights to develop and market GW's most advanced cannabis-based product, Sativex, in the United States.

Sativex, an under-the-tongue spray, is already on sale in Canada as a treatment for pain in multiple sclerosis and is currently being assessed for potential approval in Europe.

Cannabis has a history of medicinal use dating back to ancient Chinese times, and Queen Victoria's personal physician, J. R. Reynolds, declared it "by far the most useful of drugs" in treating "painful maladies".

But it is only recently that scientists have identified a myriad of active ingredients, or cannabinoids, from the plant.

"The cannabis plant is a burgeoning natural ‘factory' for potential new drugs, with more than sixty active ingredients that have already shown exciting hints of activity in diseases as diverse as obesity, anxiety and depression," GW's broker, Investec Securities, wrote in a research note.

GW Managing Director Justin Gover told Reuters that a team of 20 to 25 scientists from both firms would initially focus on around 10 molecules

Products selected for full development would then be licensed to Otsuka, which would fund their global development and commercialisation. GW would receive licence fees, milestone payments and a long-term commercial supply price and royalty to be agreed at the time of selection.

Gover said he expected drug candidates to start clinical trials during the initial three-year collaboration.

"There's a great deal of money to come as a result of products which are then selected for development," he said in a telephone interview.

Shares in GW, which grows thousands of marijuana plants at a secret location in the English countryside, were up 4 percent at 90.25 pence by 12:45 p.m., valuing the business at about 108 million pounds.

Otsuka specialises in disorders of the central nervous system. Its biggest product is schizophrenia drug Abilify, which is co-marketed with Bristol-Myers Squibb.

News Hawk - Lord Mong 420 MAGAZINE ® - Medical Marijuana Publication & Social Networking
Source: Reuters UK
Author: Mark Potter
Contact: Breaking News, Business, Financial and Investing News, Personal Finance & More | Reuters.co.uk
Copyright: © Reuters 2007
Website: GW in cannabis research deal with Japan's Otsuka | UK | Reuters
 
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Pinch

New Member
Thank you for that story.
 

Herb Fellow

New Member
The pharmaceutical companies seem to be positioning themselves for a change in cannabis policy. Does anyone know if the tobacco companies are doing any exploration involving cannabis? It could save the tobacco farmers and mellow a rather uptight society.
 

zolar

New Member
sounds like they're planning to change the DEA schedule for pot to allow commercial pharmacutical derivatives of pot to have valid medical use but not
the raw mother plant
 

Pinch

New Member
sounds like they're planning to change the DEA schedule for pot to allow commercial pharmacutical derivatives of pot to have valid medical use but not
the raw mother plant
That's why GW hired a former DEA bigwhig away in order to fasttrack Sativex through the FDA.. and it is fasttracking. (In the US and Canada Bayer has the production and distribution rights I believe.)

Yeah.. I believe this will be the DEA's latest retort to medical marijuana.. "Why would you put smoke in your body and not use the correct dosage when you can get the active ingredients of cannabis in a pharmaceutical for controlled dosage."

(I have to admit, it's the smartest move the DEA has made in it's 100 year history.)

I hear the medical marijuana's death toll.. it's been in the works for years.. Bayer's in on the action too!
 
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