Cannabis-based drug for MS could be marketed in Australia

THE sponsor of a drug derived from cannabis and used for the treatment of spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) is seeking regulatory approval in Australia.

GW Pharmaceuticals, the UK manufacturer of Sativex, an endocannabinoid modulator, announced last week it had entered into an agreement with Novartis to commercialise Sativex in Australia, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Sativex, which is composed of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, is already approved in New Zealand, the UK, Spain and Canada as an add-on treatment for patients with MS with spasticity who have not responded to other anti-spasticity medications.