A panel of experts convened by the Food and Drug Administration voted thirteen to zero that the agency should approve a marijuana-based drug to treat rare forms of epilepsy.
The FDA is not bound by the votes of its expert advisory panels, but it usually follows them. It is due to make a final decision on whether to approve the medicine by June 27.
The drug, Epidiolex, was developed by London’s GW Pharmaceuticals and is a pharmaceutical-grade form of cannabidiol, or CBD, an oil found in marijuana plants. GW grows the plant in greenhouses and purifies out the CBD. GW shares, which spiked on Tuesday when the documents the FDA panel would discuss became public, were down 0.6% in afternoon trading. They are up 63% over the past two years.
“It was really a no-brainer for me,” said committee member and pharmacist Richard Hoffman after casting his vote in