Jazz Pharmaceuticals is to acquire cannabinoid medicine manufacturer GW Pharmaceuticals for a whopping sum.
Founded in 1998, GW Pharmaceuticals manufactures CBD-based Epidiolex, which is marketed under the name Epidyolex in the EU and Australia. Epidiolex was the first CBD medicine approved by the USA’s FDA. Epidyolex has been approved in the EU for the treatment of Lennox‑Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, and in Australia for the treatment of seizures associated with LGS or Dravet.
Epidiolex/ Epidyolex has turned out to be a cash cow for GW Pharma. Preliminary, unaudited net product sales figures for 2020 released last month indicate Epidiolex raked in approximately USD $510 million for the year compared to an estimated $296 million in 2019.
The company announced yesterday it has entered into a definitive agreement with Jazz Pharmaceuticals that will see Jazz acquire GW Pharma for a total consideration of $7.2 billion. The transaction is expected to finalise in the second quarter of this year. While the Boards of Directors of both companies have signed off on the deal, it’s subject to the approval of GW shareholders, a thumbs-up from the High Court of Justice of England and Wales and other customary closing conditions.
Founded in 2003, Dublin, Ireland-headquartered Jazz Pharmaceuticals says its medicines are available in more than 90 countries. Its focus areas are neuroscience, including sleep and movement disorders, and oncology, including hematologic malignancies and solid tumors. Among its medicines is Xywav, a prescription calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium oxybates oral solution used to treat the some of the symptoms associated with narcolepsy.
“We are excited to add GW’s industry-leading cannabinoid platform, innovative pipeline and products, which will strengthen and broaden our neuroscience portfolio, further diversify our revenue and drive sustainable, long-term value creation opportunities,” said Bruce Cozadd , chairman and CEO of Jazz Pharmaceuticals.
Among the projects in GW’s pipeline is nabiximols (Sativex – a cannabis extract containing THC and CBD) for treatment of spasticity associated with MS and spinal cord injury, and preparations containing CBDV (cannabidivarin) and CBD for autism and schizophrenia.
Between the two companies is a pro-forma pipeline of 19 clinical development programs across neuroscience and oncology.