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GW and Otsuka agree global cannabinoid research collaboration

GW Pharmaceuticals and Otsuka Pharmaceutical have signed a global cannabinoid research collaboration in the field of Central Nervous System and oncology for a range of candidate cannabinoid products

UK-based GW Pharmaceuticals and privately owned Japanese Otsuka Pharmaceutical have signed a global cannabinoid research collaboration in the field of Central Nervous System (CNS) and oncology in order to research, develop and commercialise a range of candidate cannabinoid products.

The research collaboration agreement follows the signature in February 2007 of an exclusive license and development agreement between GW and Otsuka to develop and market Sativex, GW's lead product, in the US.

The cannabinoid research collaboration has an initial term of three years, during which Otsuka will make available a research fund of USD 9m, which may be increased from time to time by Otsuka, to cover research activities carried out by GW and its scientific collaborators.

The GW-Otsuka collaboration research team, which incorporates senior scientists from both companies, will evaluate a range of GW cannabinoids as drug candidates within the field of CNS and oncology, with a view to selecting the most promising candidates for full clinical development, regulatory approval and global commercialisation.

Products selected for full development will be the subject of a license from GW. Under the terms of each product license, Otsuka will fund the global development and commercialisation of such products, while GW will receive license fees, milestone payments and a long term commercial supply price and royalty. The financial terms of each license are to be agreed at the time of selection of each product for global development.

Dr Geoffrey Guy, GW's Chairman, said: "Otsuka is a world leader in the field of CNS and we are delighted to be working with such a prestigious company to enhance and develop our product pipeline. The relationship between GW and Otsuka commenced earlier this year with the signature of the Sativex US license agreement, and this new research collaboration will serve to enhance further the close relationship between our two companies.

Tatsuo Higuchi, President of Otsuka, said: "Otsuka strives to contribute to the health of people around the world through the creation of innovative products in an effort to address unmet medical needs. We are delighted to be embarking on this great opportunity with GW to further investigate cannabinoids, which are considered to be a significant potential source of new medicines in the field of CNS and oncology. At the same time, we anticipate that our further contribution to global well being will be significant as a result of this research collaboration."

11th July 2007

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