United Kingdom-based GW Pharmaceuticals Plc will be acquired by Jazz Pharmaceuticals Plc in a $7.2 billion cash-and-stock deal, MarketWatch reports. The deal, announced this week, is expected to close sometime in the second quarter of 2021 in hopes of boosting first-year profits after the close and in order to drive additional revenue growth.
GW Pharmaceuticals’ pre-market stock prices soared 46% following the announcement.
GW Pharma is the manufacturer of Epidiolex, an oral solution which in 2018 became the first cannabis-based medication to receive FDA approval for patient use. Jazz Pharma is an Ireland-based biopharmaceutical company founded in 2003.
Epidiolex utilizes CBD to treat seizure symptoms. The medication was originally approved to treat Dravet syndrome, a rare and drug-resistant form of epilepsy, but in August 2020, the FDA also approved the drug as a treatment for seizures resulting from tuberous sclerosis complex.
Nawan Butt, the Portfolio Manager of The MEdical Cannabis and Wellness UCITS ETF (Europe’s first cannabis-focused ETF), said the deal could signal a significant shift in the international cannabis market.
“When [GW] started most global pharma companies were hesitant to do work with this plant ignoring centuries of evidence there were some health benefits,” Butt said. “Today could be a notable turning point… We don’t think this is the last deal we will see in the sector.”
Based in Portland, Oregon, Graham is Ganjapreneur’s Chief Editor. He has been writing about the legalization landscape since 2012 and has been contributing to Ganjapreneur since our official launch in 2014.