GW Pharmaceuticals has filed for approval of its cannabis-based drug for multipl sclerosis, Sativex in Spain and the UK.
If the drug, currently available in Canada, is approved, regulators would allow the drug to be marketed across Europe for all patients with spasticity, the involuntary spasms associated with MS.
"We are anticipating and outcome for that regulatory process around the end of this calendar year or early 2010 in the UK and Spain which would then lead to launches in those countries," commented Justin Gover, GW managing director. "Commercial sales of Sativex will start to have a meaningful impact on our business from next year onwards."
Sativex is made using two strains of cannabiss which GW bought from Dutch-based researchers Hortipharm more than a decade ago. The cannabis is grown under artificial lights at a secret location in the UK under a Home Offic licence, and then processed into a sticky molasses-like substance that is then further refined so it can be used in an oral spray.