GW Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of the first U.S.-approved drug derived from marijuana, announced Friday it had raised a $345 million in a public offering.

The British company won approval this year from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Epidiolex, a medicine based on cannabidiol (CBD).  Clinical trials conducted partly at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia showed the drug helped to control some rare forms of pediatric epilepsy.

In a first for a cannabis-derived medicine, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration last week rescheduled the drug to become a Schedule 5 substance. All marijuana products had previously been considered Schedule 1, a designation given to substances considered to be highly addictive with no recognized medical use. The DEA did not reschedule any other cannabidiol products.

Epidiolex is expected to be available at U.S. pharmacies before the end of the year. GW Pharmaceuticals’ other cannabis-derived drug, the peppermint flavored THC and CBD mouth spray branded Sativex, is awaiting approval by the FDA for pain associated with cancer. GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: GWPH) was trading at $151.47, down about $5.40, Friday afternoon.

Source: The Inquirer
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