GW Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ: GWPH) announced its financial results for the quarter ending December 31, 2018 reflecting the company’s first sales of its cannabis drug Epidiolex. The stock jumped almost 8% in after-hours trading as the biotech company beat analyst estimates.
Epidiolex is the first plant-derived cannabinoid pharmaceutical ever approved by FDA and first ever approved medicine in the U.S. for Dravet syndrome. Net sales began on November 1 and between that day and the end of the year, the company logged sales of $4.7 million. The company said there were approximately 4,500 new patient enrolment forms in the first two month selling period and over 500 physicians had generated dispensed prescriptions in the first two month selling period. Look ahead to 2019, prescriptions in January grew 150% sequentially over December.
GW Pharmaceuticals changed its fiscal year to begin on January 1, 2019. The revenue for the quarter was $6.7 million versus $4.0 million for the same time period in 2017. The average estimate for revenues from Yahoo Finance was $5.35 million. The net loss for the quarter jumped to $71.9 million versus last year’s$61.8 million for the same time period. The company also beat the analyst estimates for earnings by three cents with its loss of $0.20.
“We are pleased by the high level of physician and patient demand for Epidiolex, and by the number of payors that have already made favorable coverage determinations for the product. With US launch taking place part way through the quarter, the two month selling period at the end of 2018 was primarily aimed at setting the commercial wheels in motion for the 2019 launch year. As we move into the New Year, prescription growth trajectory has been highly encouraging and we believe that we are on track to deliver a successful market introduction of this important new treatment,” stated Justin Gover, GW’s Chief Executive Officer. “In addition to the US launch, we look forward to a positive regulatory decision in Europe in the next few months, results of a Phase 3 trial in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, and a number of advances in the pipeline.”