Jazz jumps into CBD market with GW Pharmaceuticals buy

Feb. 3, 2021

Jazz Pharmaceuticals has agreed to purchase the first company to win an FDA approval for a cannabis-based treatment in a deal valued at $7.2 billion.

Under the agreement, Ireland-based Jazz will acquire GW Pharmaceuticals, who won approval for Epidiolex in 2018, a plant-derived cannabinoid treatment for two rare forms of early childhood epilepsy. Sales for Epidiolex skyrocketed by 72 percent in 2020 to $510 million and the drug is considered a potential blockbuster. GW also has a CBD-based treatment in late-stage trials for multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury.  

The deal will allow Jazz, which specializes in treatments for sleep disorders and cancer, to expand its neuroscience portfolio from 10 to 19 candidates in clinical programs.

The match-up also adds legitimacy to the pursuit of cannabidiol treatments in the pharma space.

Read the Reuters report.