Porton Down, UK; Toronto, Canada – August 31, 2010 – GW Pharmaceuticals plc (AIM:
GWP) and Bayer Inc., a subsidiary of Bayer AG, today announced that Health Canada has
approved Sativex® [delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol 27 mg/mL (from Tetrabinex® - cannabis sativa
L. extract) and cannabidiol 25 mg/mL (from Nabidiolex® - cannabis sativa L. extract)] as
adjunctive treatment for symptomatic relief of spasticity in adult patients with multiple sclerosis
(MS). Sativex® is the first cannabinoid medicine derived from whole plant extracts from the
cannabis sativa plant containing both delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. This means
that people in Canada with MS experiencing the debilitating symptoms of spasticity, such as
painful spasms and cramps, will now have a new treatment option in addition to standard
The MS spasticity indication has received a full marketing authorization, or Notice of
Compliance (NOC), from Health Canada. Sativex® is useful as adjunctive treatment for
symptomatic relief of spasticity in adult patients with MS who have not responded adequately to
other therapy and who demonstrate meaningful improvement during an initial trial of therapy.
In addition to this new NOC, Health Canada approved Sativex® in 2005 under its Notice of
Compliance with Conditions (NOC/c) policy as adjunctive treatment for the symptomatic relief of
neuropathic pain in adult patients with multiple sclerosis, and granted a further NOC/c approval
in 2007 as adjunctive analgesic treatment in adult patients with advanced cancer who
experience moderate to severe pain during the highest tolerated dose of strong opioid therapy
for persistent background pain.
“Health Canada’s approval of a third indication for Sativex® demonstrates the broad applications
of this medicine,” said Dr. Shurjeel Choudhri, Chief Medical Officer and Head, Medical and
Scientific Affairs, Bayer Inc. “Sativex® meets a significant unmet medical need by improving the
symptoms of spasticity in patients with MS who have failed to respond to current anti-spasticity
medication. We believe that this approval represents an important step forward in the available
treatment options for the MS patient population in Canada.”
Dr Stephen Wright, R&D Director, GW, said: “Following recent approvals in the UK and Spain,
Canada is now the third major country to approve Sativex® for symptomatic relief of spasticity in
adult patients with MS. This regulatory approval has come several months earlier than
anticipated and GW looks forward to working with Bayer to develop the marketing strategy for
this new indication. We are delighted that the international regulatory program for Sativex® is
continuing its positive momentum.”
GW Pharmaceuticals plc (Today) + 44 20 7831 3113
Dr Geoffrey Guy, Chairman + 44 1980 557000
Justin Gover, Managing Director
Financial Media: Ben Atwell / John Dineen + 44 20 7831 3113
Other Media: Mark Rogerson +44 7885 638810
Laura Burns +1 416 240 5466
GW Advisers: Piper Jaffray Ltd +44 20 3142 8700
Neil Mackison / Rupert Winckler
A product resulting from the pioneering research efforts of UK-based GW Pharmaceuticals plc and
marketed in Canada by Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Sativex®
contains active ingredients called ‘cannabinoids’, which are extracted from cannabis plants grown and processed under strictly controlled conditions. Cannabinoids react with cannabinoid receptors that are distributed throughout the central
nervous system and in immune cells.
The principal active cannabinoid components of Sativex®are THC and CBD, a non-psychoactive
cannabinoid. The ratio of THC to CBD in Sativex® is 2.7mg:2.5mg per spray, ensuring a standardized
dose is delivered each time it is used.
Standard marketing authorisation:
Sativex® is useful as adjunctive treatment for symptomatic relief of spasticity in adult patients with multiple
sclerosis (MS) who have not responded adequately to other therapy and who demonstrate meaningful
improvement during an initial trial of therapy.
Marketing authorization with conditions:
Sativex® may be useful as adjunctive treatment for the symptomatic relief of neuropathic pain in adult
patients with MS.
Marketing authorization with conditions:
Sativex® may be useful as adjunctive analgesic treatment in adult patients with advanced cancer who
experience moderate to severe pain during the highest tolerated dose of strong opioid therapy for
persistent background pain.
Marketing authorizations with conditions reflect the promising nature of the clinical evidence which are to
be confirmed with further studies.
Treatment-emergent adverse events in clinical trials with Sativex® which occurred with a greater than 10
per cent frequency in patients with MS included fatigue and dizziness. In patients with pain in cancer,
these adverse events included nausea, neoplasm progression, somnolence and dizziness. In most
patients, adverse events have resolved without treatment, and some with a reduction of dosage of
Sativex® is a registered trade mark of GW Pharmaceuticals and GW Pharmaceuticals is the Marketing
Authorisation holder for Sativex®.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a degenerative neurological condition, which is associated with a wide range of
distressing and disabling signs and symptoms.MS is the most common disabling disease of the CNS
affecting young adults and is usually diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40 years..MS is twice as
common in women than in men. An estimated 55,000-75,000 Canadians have MS.
Spasticity is a common symptom associated with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and is a major contributor to
disability.It is caused by damage to the nerves in the central nervous system which carry messages
instructing muscles how to move resulting in an involuntary muscle overactivity.
In a survey, 84% of people with MS reported symptoms of spasticity.
Moderate, severe or total spasticity is reported in 34% of individuals. Symptoms include loss of mobility, painful spasms, stiffness and / or weakness of muscles.As a consequence an individual may have difficulty in walking, picking up
objects, washing, dressing and other everyday activities involving movement.In addition to causing a
great deal of distress to the person with MS, mood, self-image and motivation can also be affected.
About Bayer Inc.
Bayer Inc. (Bayer) is a Canadian subsidiary of Bayer AG, an international research-based group with core
businesses in health care, crop science and innovative materials. Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario,
Bayer Inc. operates the Bayer Group's HealthCare and MaterialScience businesses in Canada. Bayer
CropScience Inc., headquartered in Calgary, Alberta operates as a separate legal entity in Canada.
Together, the companies play a vital role in improving the quality of life for Canadians – producing
products that fight diseases, protecting crops and animals, and developing high-performance materials for
applications in numerous areas of daily life. Canadian Bayer facilities include the Toronto headquarters
and offices in Montréal and Calgary.
Bayer Inc. has approximately 800 employees across Canada and had sales of $853 million CDN in 2009.
Globally, the Bayer Group had sales of over 31 billion Euro in 2009. Bayer Inc. invested approximately
$50 million CDN in research and development in 2009. Worldwide, the Bayer Group spent the equivalent
of over 2.7 billion Euro in 2009 in R&D. For more information, go to www.bayer.ca.
About GW Pharmaceuticals
GW was founded in 1998 and is listed on the AiM, a market of the London Stock Exchange. Operating
under licence from the UK Home Office, the company researches and develops cannabinoid
pharmaceutical products for patients who suffer from a range of serious ailments, in particular MS and
cancer pain. GW has assembled a large in-house scientific team with expertise in cannabinoid science
as well as experience in the development of both plant based prescription pharmaceutical products and
medicines containing controlled substances. GW occupies a world leading position in cannabinoids and
has developed an extensive international network of the most prominent scientists in the field.
For further information, please visit www.gwpharm.com