LONDON and CARLSBAD, Calif., Dec. 28, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- GW Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq:GWPH) (“GW” or “the Company”), a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing novel therapeutics from its proprietary cannabinoid product platform, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted for filing with Priority Review its recently submitted New Drug Application (NDA) for Epidiolex® (cannabidiol or CBD), an investigational treatment for seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome, two rare and difficult to treat conditions of childhood-onset epilepsy. The PDUFA (Prescription Drug User Fee Act) goal date for completion of the FDA review of the Epidiolex NDA is June 27, 2018.
Priority Review status is designated for drugs that may offer major advances in treatment or provide a treatment where no adequate therapies exist. The granting of Priority Review for the Epidiolex NDA accelerates the timing of the FDA review of the application compared to a standard review.
In its acceptance letter, the FDA has stated that it is currently planning to hold an advisory committee meeting to discuss this application.
“We are pleased with the FDA’s acceptance of our NDA filing with Priority Review, an action that underscores the unmet need in the LGS and Dravet syndrome populations,” said Justin Gover, GW’s Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to working with the FDA during the review process to support the case for approval of Epidiolex so as to provide a much needed new treatment option for patients that suffer from these highly treatment-resistant conditions of childhood-onset epilepsy.”
About Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome
The onset of LGS typically occurs between ages of 3 to 5 years and can be caused by a number of conditions, including brain malformations, severe head injuries, central nervous system infections, and genetic neuro-degenerative or metabolic conditions. In up to 30 percent of patients, no cause can be found. Patients with LGS commonly have multiple seizure types including drop and convulsive seizures, which frequently lead to falls and injuries, and non-convulsive seizures. Resistance to anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) is common in patients with LGS. Most children with LGS experience some degree of intellectual impairment, as well as developmental delays and aberrant behaviors.
About Dravet Syndrome
Dravet syndrome is a severe infantile-onset and highly treatment-resistant epileptic encephalopathy frequently associated with genetic mutations in the SCN1A sodium channels. Onset of Dravet syndrome occurs typically during the first year of life in previously healthy and developmentally normal infants. Initial seizures are often body temperature related, severe, and long-lasting. Over time, patients with Dravet syndrome often develop multiple types of seizures, including tonic-clonic, myoclonic, and atypical absences and are prone to bouts of prolonged seizures including status epilepticus, which can be life threatening. Risk of premature death including SUDEP (sudden unexpected death in epilepsy) is elevated in patients with Dravet syndrome. Additionally, the majority will develop moderate to severe intellectual and development disabilities and require lifelong supervision and care. There are currently no FDA-approved treatments and nearly all patients continue to experience seizures and other medical needs throughout their lifetime.
About Epidiolex® (cannabidiol)
Epidiolex, GW's lead cannabinoid product candidate is a pharmaceutical formulation of purified cannabidiol (CBD), which is in development for the treatment of several rare childhood-onset epilepsy disorders. GW has submitted a New Drug Application with the FDA for Epidiolex as adjunctive treatment for seizures associated with LGS and Dravet syndrome with an expected approval and launch in 2018. To date, GW has received Orphan Drug Designation from the FDA for Epidiolex for the treatment of Dravet syndrome, LGS, TSC and IS. Additionally, GW has received Fast Track Designation from the FDA for the treatment of Dravet syndrome and conditional grant of rare pediatric disease designation by FDA. The Company has also received Orphan Designation from the European Medicines Agency, or EMA, for Epidiolex for the treatment of LGS, Dravet syndrome, West syndrome and TSC. GW is currently evaluating additional clinical development programs in other orphan seizure disorders including Phase 3 trials in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex and Infantile Spasms.
About GW Pharmaceuticals plc and Greenwich Biosciences
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. GW, along with its U.S. subsidiary Greenwich Biosciences, is advancing an orphan drug program in the field of childhood epilepsy with a focus on Epidiolex (cannabidiol), for which GW has submitted an NDA to the FDA for the adjunctive treatment of LGS and Dravet syndrome. The Company continues to evaluate Epidiolex in additional epilepsy conditions and currently has ongoing clinical trials in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex and Infantile Spasms. GW commercialized the world’s first plant-derived cannabinoid prescription drug, Sativex® (nabiximols), which is approved for the treatment of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis in numerous countries outside the United States. The Company has a deep pipeline of additional cannabinoid product candidates which includes compounds in Phase 1 and 2 trials for gliobastoma, schizophrenia and epilepsy. For further information, please visit www.gwpharm.com.
This news release contains forward-looking statements that reflect GW's current expectations regarding future events, including statements regarding financial performance, the timing of clinical trials, the timing and outcomes of regulatory or intellectual property decisions, the relevance of GW products commercially available and in development, the clinical benefits of Epidiolex® (cannabidiol) and the safety profile and commercial potential of Epidiolex. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual events could differ materially from those projected herein and depend on a number of factors, including (inter alia), the success of GW’s research strategies, the applicability of the discoveries made therein, the successful and timely completion and uncertainties related to the regulatory process, and the acceptance of Sativex, Epidiolex and other products by consumer and medical professionals. A further list and description of risks and uncertainties associated with an investment in GW can be found in GW’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including the most recent Form 20-F filed on 4 December 2017. Existing and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. GW undertakes no obligation to update or revise the information contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or circumstances or otherwise.