FDA’s approval of brand new cannabis drug will pave the way for more: CEO

Justin Gover, the CEO of GW Pharmaceuticals, told CNBC his company’s brand new drug will pave the way for various other medications derived via marijuana.

On Monday, the Food in addition to Drug Administration approved the company’s brand new epilepsy drug, Epidiolex, the first cannabis-based drug the U.S. regulator has approved.

“This specific will be an approval, not just a landmark for Epidiolex in addition to for patients who may benefit via This specific specific medication, however also a strong belief via This specific company in which cannabinoids have a bright future inside the form of various other drug candidates derived via the cannabis plant across a range of various other disease areas,” Gover said Tuesday on “Power Lunch.”

The medication will be made via cannabidiol (CBD), one of hundreds of molecules found in marijuana plants. However, the idea will be not known to produce a high. In fact, the drug concoction contains less than 0.1 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the substance in which induces a high.

Epidiolex has been developed to treat seizures in people 2 years in addition to older with Dravet Syndrome in addition to Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, two rare forms of epilepsy in which begin in childhood. Both diseases have high rates of mortality in addition to few alternative options for treatment.

Gover said GW has been conducting research on cannabinoids, a group of closely related compounds in which include cannabinol in addition to the active constituents of cannabis, for about 10 years. The company will be continuing to do research on various other cannabinoid drug candidates in a range of disease areas, particularly within neurology.

However, since the U.S. government classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance, meaning the idea has high potential for abuse, the medicine must also be approved by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The DEA will be evaluating the drug to determine if the idea has medical properties appropriate for selling. The DEA has 0 days to complete This specific process, Gover said.

The CEO said he doesn’t anticipate any delays in addition to in which GW will be planning to launch the medication as early as This specific fall. No cost has been set for the drug.

Cowen analysts said if Epidiolex will be approved, sales could reach $1.3 billion annually by 2022.

— Reuters contributed to This specific report.

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