Dec 022013

Combination of
Tetrahydrocannabinol Cannabinoid
Cannabidiol Cannabinoid


GW Pharmaceuticals obtains Swiss approval for Sativex
GW Pharmaceuticals has received full marketing authorisation from the Swiss authorities for its prescription medicine Sativex to treat moderate to severe spasticity in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients who have not responded to other medications.


Nabiximols (USAN,trade name Sativex) is a patented cannabinoid oromucosal mouth spray developed by the UK company GW Pharmaceuticals for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, who can use it to alleviate neuropathic pain, spasticity, overactive bladder, and other symptoms.Nabiximols is distinct from all other pharmaceutically produced cannabinoids currently available because it is a mixture of compounds derived fromCannabis plants, rather than a mono-molecular synthetic product. The drug is a pharmaceutical product standardised in composition, formulation, and dose, although it is still effectively a tincture of the cannabis plant. Its principal active cannabinoid components are the cannabinoids: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). The product is formulated as an oromucosal spray which is administered by spraying into the mouth. Each spray delivers a near 1:1 ratio of CBD to THC, with a fixed dose of 2.7 mg THC and 2.5 mg CBD. Nabiximols is also being developed in Phase III trials as a potential treatment to alleviate pain due to cancer. It has also been researched in various models of peripheral and central neuropathic pain.

In May 2003 GW Pharmaceuticals and Bayer entered into an exclusive marketing agreement for GW’s cannabis-based medicinal extract product, to be marketed under the brand name Sativex. “Bayer has obtained exclusive rights to market Sativex in the UK. In addition, Bayer has the option for a limited period of time to negotiate the marketing rights in other countries in European Union and selected other countries around the world.”

In April 2011, GW licensed to Novartis the rights to commercialise nabiximols in Asia (excluding China and Japan), Africa and the Middle East (excluding Israel)

Of the two preliminary Phase III studies investigating the treatment of MS patients, one showed a reduction of spasticity of 1.2 points on the 0–10 points rating scale (versus 0.6 points under placebo), the other showed a reduction of 1.0 versus 0.8 points. Only the first study reached statistical significance. The Phase III approval study consisted of a run-in phase where the response of individuals to the drug was determined. The responders (42% of patients) showed a significant effect in the second, placebo controlled, phase of the trial.[10] A 2009 meta-analysis of six studies found large variations of effectiveness, with a trend towards a reduction of spasticity

Sativex® is a cannabinoid medicine for the treatment of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis which is also in development in cancer pain and neuropathic pain of various origins…

Sativex® has now been launched in 11 countries (including the UK, Spain, Italy and Germany) with approvals in an additional 11 countries


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