British cannabis-derived medicines company GW Pharma is planning to gear up its plant growing and processing operations in the UK over the next year.
The firm, which switched a listing on London’s junior market Aim for New York’s Nasdaq last year, where it has a market value of $2.6bn (£2bn), is committing to expanding in the UK.
It grows several tons of specially-modified cannabis plants a year – which have had the chemicals that result in a high genetically edited out – in British Sugar’s 44-acre greenhouse in Norfolk. It then processes and purifies the plant material in the UK to make medicines, mostly for export to the massive US market.
GW has one approved medicine, an oral spray called Sativex for treating the muscle spasticity associated with the condition multiple sclerosis.
It is hoping for regulatory approval in the US next year for sister cannabis-derived products for treating types of epilepsy, after positive results in clinical trials.
Adam George, UK managing director for GW, said the firm was expanding in Britain to meet anticipated demand for the epilepsy treatment should it get the green light. GW plans to invest £50m in capital funding over the next three years and to recruit 70 new staff. The expansion comes off the back of hiring 100 staff over the past 12 months, taking its UK headcount to 400.
Mr George said: “We’re proud to be a UK company. We do all our manufacturing in the UK and we are scaling up, ready to commercialise (the epilepsy product) next year.”
Source: 420Intel – Medical Cannabis