London, England’s GW Pharmaceuticals, the makers of the cannabis-derived anti-seizure medication Epidiolex, has won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2021 in the Innovation category. It’s the first medical cannabis company to receive the award, which is considered the most prestigious for U.K. businesses.
Dr. Geoffrey W Guy, GW founder and chairman, said the company was “honored” to receive the award and that when he and co-founder Dr. Brian Whittle founded the company 23 years ago, its mission “was to improve the lives of seriously ill patients by unlocking the potential of the cannabis plant through rigorous scientific investigations and extensive clinical trials in order to obtain regulatory approval for such medicines to benefit patients.”
GW CEO Justin Gover said over the two decades the company “established a world-leading position in cannabinoid science and brought breakthrough medicines to patients in a new frontier of medicine.”
“We are immensely proud to have that work and dedication recognized by the prestigious Queen’s Awards for Enterprise. Our continued commitment to research and development has resulted in the treatment of thousands of patients with our medicines, and the prospect of helping countless more families through our robust pipeline of early- and late-stage product candidates.” – Gover in a press release
The company said it has invested more than £1.3 billion (USD$1.8 billion) “in the research, development and infrastructure needed to bring novel, innovative medicines to patients.”
In the announcement in the London Gazette, the company was described as “harnessing cannabinoid science to create innovative, regulatory approved, world-first cannabis-based medicines to improve lives.” The Queen’s Awards are in their 55th year.
In January, GW said that in 2020, Epidiolex sales increased more than 70%. It is also conducting trials on a multiple sclerosis drug in the U.S., Nabiximols, and it hopes to achieve data from at least one of the trials this year.
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