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GW Pharmaceuticals wins Queen’s Award as cannabinoid treatments proliferate

GW Pharmaceuticals, headquartered in Histon, has been awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category in recognition of its innovative and ground-breaking work to harness cannabinoid science to create the world’s first regulatory approved, prescription cannabis-based medicines.

Dr Geoffrey W Guy, GW Pharmaceuticals’ founder and chairman
Dr Geoffrey W Guy, GW Pharmaceuticals’ founder and chairman

GW, and its US subsidiary Greenwich Biosciences, is a UK-based global biopharmaceutical company that has established a world-leading position in cannabinoid science and medicine.

The company’s ground-breaking medicines development journey started in 1998, since when it has successfully navigated significant barriers to enable the development, manufacture and commercialisation of regulatory approved cannabis-based medicines, leading the way in improving the lives of patients and families around the world. Globally, GW has invested more than £1.3bn in the research, development and infrastructure needed to bring novel, innovative medicines to patients.

With the majority of its staff located in the UK, GW employs more than 1,100 employees globally, all of whom strive every day to bring new, clinically proven medicines to patients experiencing significant unmet need.

“We are honoured to receive such a prestigious award for British businesses,” said Dr Geoffrey W Guy, GW’s founder and chairman. “When Dr Brian Whittle and I founded GW 23 years ago, our mission was to improve the lives of seriously ill patients by unlocking the potential of the cannabis plant through rigorous scientific investigations and extensive clinical trials in order to obtain regulatory approval for such medicines to benefit patients.

“Much of what is known about the medical uses of cannabis was discovered by GW. We have led the way in understanding cannabinoid science and how, if harnessed correctly and taken through the regulatory approval pathway, it has the potential to improve the lives of patients and their families. Today, I want to thank every employee, clinician, researcher, patient and caregiver for helping advance and achieve that mission.”

Julian Gover, GW Pharmaceuticals’ CEO
Julian Gover, GW Pharmaceuticals’ CEO

Justin Gover, GW’s chief executive officer, said: “Thanks to two decades of perseverance, dedication and pioneering work, GW has established a world-leading position in cannabinoid science and brought breakthrough medicines to patients in a new frontier of medicine. We are immensely proud to have that work and dedication recognised by the prestigious Queen’s Awards for Enterprise. Our continued commitment to research and development has resulted in the treatment of thousands of patients with our medicines, and the prospect of helping countless more families through our robust pipeline of early and late-stage product candidates.”

This award also recognises GW’s leadership in cannabinoid science and efforts to benefit the wider medical community, the pharmaceutical industry and society, as GW has shown regulators and governments that it is possible to work within the existing pharmaceutical regulatory system to develop clinically proven medicines derived from the cannabis plant. In doing so, GW has created a roadmap to approach the study, manufacture and delivery of cannabis-based medicines, and supported regulators by providing high-quality evidence to support the regulatory approval of the company’s marketed medicines.

Regarded as the highest official UK award for British business, the Queen’s Award for Enterprise is an annual award which recognises outstanding achievement in Innovation. Now in its 55th year, the Queen’s Award for Enterprise is the pre-eminent recognition for exceptional achievement by UK businesses.

GW Pharmaceuticals said it “would also like to pay tribute to the significant role played by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh in establishing Her Majesty’s Awards, and his support of the Awards for the last 50 years”.

It concluded: “GW extends its deepest sympathies to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family.”

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