On February 21, 2018 GW Pharmaceuticals PLC (Nasdaq:GWPH) (“GW,”) announced that a Phase 2a proof of concept study of a pipeline compound GWP42006 in adult patients with focal seizures did not meet its primary endpoint. The trial was conducted outside the United States, primarily in Eastern Europe. In the trial’s preliminary results, both active and placebo studies showed similar reductions in focal seizures of approximately 40 percent. The extent of the placebo response was substantially greater than that seen in published studies of other treatments in similar patient populations and GW is now working to understand the potential reasons for the results.
Compound GWP42006 had, in the past, shown anti-epileptic properties across a range of in vitro and in vivo models of epilepsy. GW plans to continue exploring potential development opportunities for this compound in the field of epilepsy. In parallel with the failed study, the company has also been evaluating GWP42006 in clinical models on ASD (Autism) with promising results for cognitive and social symptoms as well as repetitive behavior. However, according to company executives, GW’s top priority in 2018 will remain Epidiolex which is currently under regulatory review in the U.S. and Europe and is expected to launch later this year in the U.S. Epidiolex has been shown to effectively treat symptoms in a variety of rare epileptic conditions.
Founded in 1998, GW is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing novel therapeutics from its proprietary cannabinoid product platform in a broad range of disease areas.