UK Company Raising $148M to Advance CBD Drug

June 20, 2014

British drug maker GW Pharmaceuticals plans to raise $148 million from U.S. investors to advance an epilepsy drug that uses cannabidiol (CBD).

The company will sell 1.7 million American Depository Shares on the Nasdaq – where it trades under the symbol GWPH – priced at $86.83 each.

The drug, called Epidiolex, contains cannabidiol oil extracted from a crop of marijuana it grows in England. Epidiolex recently received fast-track status from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which means regulators will speed up clinical testing and its potential approval.

The development marks an important step for CBD-based drugs, which ease pain but don’t provide the typical high associated with marijuana.

While cannabis advocates have long touted CBD-specific treatments – such as the popular “Charlotte’s Web oil – the FDA has not approved the drugs. Numerous...

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