The European Pharmaceutical Review reported today that Epidyolex, produced by GW Pharma, which contains cannabidiol (CBD) and can now be prescribed by doctors to eligible patients along with clobazam.

The drug is indicated for the treatments of Lennox Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome. It is intended for use in children from age two to adults, after clinical trials found it reduced the number of seizures by up to 40 per cent in some children, according to NHS England.

Epidyolex can now be prescribed by doctors to epilepsy patients in the UK through the NHS and will be available from today.

Chris Tovey, GW Pharma’s Chief Operating Officer, said the decision was a “milestone moment” that demonstrates that if routed through rigorous clinical trials, approved by a medicines regulator and proven to be cost-effective, cannabis-based medicines can reach patients who need them.

“We’d like to thank NHS England for recognising the importance of this medicine and working tirelessly to fast-track patient access,” said Tovey.

The medicine was fast-tracked for use in December 2019.

According to Michael Prytz, Investment Manager at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark based in the Toronto Consulate, Denmark launched its medical cannabis programme back in January 2018 and is on track to be one of the world’s largest GACP cultivation nations with more than 3 million SQF of cultivation on track to be built out.

Prytz says Denmark will sustain its leading position by way of several structural competitive advantages beyond its unique legislative framework for medical cannabis, including low energy prices and secure access, 72% renewable energy, a competent workforce and a foundation of experience and expertise in horticulture and pharmaceuticals.

In an Open Access Government article he penned, Prytz wrote: “While the Danish advantage was initially created by embracing the top-down regulatory opportunity that has eluded other jurisdictions in Europe and North America, the next phase of industry development will be created by the same factors that have created a strong pharma presence overall – among others a competitive but collaborative value chain, reliable business inputs, high but predictable quality standards, tradition of industry engagement with science and research and access to a highly competent workforce.”

In related news, JPD Capital has launched a cannabis-focused fund to harness the growth of the global medicinal cannabis market.

The fund will invest in companies anywhere in the ‘seed-to-sale’ supply chain, from cultivators all the way through to CBD brands.

JPD Capital is domiciled Guernsey with operations based in London.

The cannabis investment vehicle has a minimum investment of £25,000 and is restricted to sophisticated, high net worth and professional investors.

According to UK Investor Magazine, the launch of JPD Capital comes shortly after the first medicinal cannabis UCITS ETF was launched by HANetf.

HANetf takes an ultra-low-cost approach to the medicinal cannabis sector with their Medical Cannabis and Wellness UCITS ETF, said the news report.

The top holdings of the ETF include Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings, GW Pharmaceuticals, Scotts Miracle-Gro and Charlotte’s Web.

The ETF is listed in both the UK and Germany and has a total expense ratio of 0.8%.