Highest British business award goes to cannabis drug developer, GW Pharmaceuticals

The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation was awarded to GW for leadership in cannabinoid science and development of prescription cannabis-based medicines.

cannabis-based drug approved

The Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2021 has been bestowed upon GW Pharmaceuticals plc, as recognition for the company’s innovative and ground-breaking work to harness cannabinoid science to create the world’s first regulatory approved, prescription cannabis-based medicines.

Regarded as the highest official UK award for British business, the Queen’s Award for Enterprise is an annual award which recognises outstanding achievement in innovation. Now in its 55th year, the Queen’s Award for Enterprise is awarded to products or services that have been available on the market and can demonstrate outstanding innovation and commercial success for at least two years.

According to GW, since 1998 it has “successfully navigated significant barriers to enable the development, manufacture and commercialisation of regulatory approved cannabis-based medicines”. Globally, it said, it has invested more than £1.3 billion in the research, development and infrastructure needed to bring novel, innovative medicines to patients.

“We are honoured to receive such a prestigious award for British businesses. When Dr Brian Whittle and I founded GW 23 years ago, our mission was to improve the lives of seriously ill patients by unlocking the potential of the cannabis plant through rigorous scientific investigations and extensive clinical trials in order to obtain regulatory approval for such medicines to benefit patients,” commented Dr Geoffrey Guy, GW Founder and Chairman. “Much of what is known about the medical uses of cannabis was discovered by GW. We have led the way in understanding cannabinoid science and how, if harnessed correctly and taken through the regulatory approval pathway, it has the potential to improve the lives of patients and their families.”

GW’s Chief Executive Officer Justin Gover added: “Thanks to two decades of perseverance, dedication and pioneering work, GW has established a world-leading position in cannabinoid science and brought breakthrough medicines to patients in a new frontier of medicine. We are immensely proud to have that work and dedication recognised by the prestigious Queen’s Awards for Enterprise. Our continued commitment to research and development has resulted in the treatment of thousands of patients with our medicines and the prospect of helping countless more families through our robust pipeline of early- and late-stage product candidates.”

In addition to acknowledging the company’s innovative work, the award also recognises GW’s leadership in cannabinoid science and efforts to benefit the wider medical community, pharmaceutical industry and society, as it has shown that it is possible to work within the existing pharmaceutical regulatory system to develop clinically proven medicines derived from the cannabis plant.