Deal of the day
Morgan Stanley is understood to have been hired by the British drugmaker GW Pharmaceuticals after the latter is thought to have been approached by a number of suitors interested in a potential acquisition.
Sources stress that Cambridge-based GW – which has a market capitalisation of around £1.6bn (US$2.1bn) – is not currently interested in pursuing a sale but the move to hire the investment bank to handle the approaches is an indication of the growing interest in the company, which focuses on the development of cannabinoid prescription medicines.
Sativex, a nasal spray used to help control muscle spasms in those with multiple sclerosis, is GW’s only marketed drug currently, but it has not been approved in the US and generated just US$2m of sales in the last quarter.
The compound that is perhaps of more importance to potential buyers is Epidiolex, a drug that is in late stage trials for the treatment of childhood epilepsy. It is thought that Epidiolex could receive approval from the US Food and Drug Administration next year and if so, analysts suggest eventual sales could hit US$800m.
It is unclear at this stage who the interested parties might be but Reuters quotes sources as suggesting that logical buyers could be those who have partnered with GW on the distribution of Sativex such as Novartis, Bayer or Almirall.
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