This Medical Marijuana News Has GW Pharmaceuticals Plc Soaring

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: GW Pharmaceuticals, Plc. shares jumped 19% higher earlier this week following news that a presentation outlining the benefits of its clinical stage marijuana-based drug Epidiolex would be given at a key industry conference next week.

So What: The data that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology conference on April 22nd reflects findings from a physician-led expanded access program that provides Epidiolex to patients suffering from a variety of tough-to-treat forms of epilepsy.

Specifically, the data suggests that patients taking Epidiolex for at least 12-weeks suffered up to 52% fewer seizures.

Overall, results were based on 137 patients, whose condition was inadequately controlled by existing medication, including patients diagnosed with both Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, two rare forms of epilepsy.

Now What: The results appear to be encouraging for GW Pharmaceuticals' current epilepsy research program.

The company launched two phase 3 studies evaluating Epidiolex in Dravet syndrome patients earlier this year, and it plans to launch additional studies in Lennox-Gastaut syndrome patients by year's end. Results from the Dravet syndrome trial should be available by the end of 2015, and the Lennox-Gastaut data will follow in 2016.

If those trials are successful, it could mark a significant step forward for GW Pharmaceuticals' marijuana research program; however, investors should know that the company already boasts a market cap $2.15 billion. That's a pretty rich valuation for a company that generates little revenue (so far). As a result, I'm hesitant to chase this one higher.

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Todd Campbell has no position in any stocks mentioned. Todd owns E.B. Capital Markets, LLC. E.B. Capital's clients may or may not have positions in the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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