GW Pharma trims loss to $8 million, warns virus could hit sales

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GW Pharmaceuticals lost $8 million in its latest quarter – an improvement over the previous three-month period – but the United Kingdom-based medical cannabinoid company warned the COVID-19 pandemic could impact sales if fewer patients visit their doctors.

Revenue in the quarter ending March 31 reached $120.6 million, up from $91 million and $109.1 million in the third and fourth quarters of 2019, respectively.

Epidiolex, a cannabidiol-based prescription medicine, was the company’s primary revenue driver, with net sales of $116.1 million in the latest quarter.

Epidiolex sales in the United States over the three-month period were $106.1 million.

The new coronavirus did not have a significant impact on sales in the first quarter of 2020, the company said in a regulatory filing.

But GW warned that the virus might take a bite out of future sales.

“While we may benefit modestly in the near term from customers increasing their levels of stock in anticipation of any potential interruptions from the pandemic, over the longer term we may see a negative impact on product net sales from fewer patients visiting their healthcare provider to initiate, change or receive therapy,” the company noted.

GW is continuing international clinical trials already underway, though the company stopped enrolling new patients for existing trials because of the coronavirus.

“And we expect that COVID-19 precautions may directly or indirectly impact the timeline for some of our planned clinical trials and other research and development activities during the remainder of 2020,” the company said.

GW noted that it has been able to continue to supply products to its patients and license partners amid the COVID-19 pandemic and does not anticipate any interruptions.

In September, the European Commission granted marketing authorization to Epidyolex, the trade name in Europe for Epidiolex, and the product was launched commercially in Germany in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Commercial launches in the United Kingdom, France, Spain and Italy are expected to occur this year, the company said in a May investor presentation.

As of March 31, cash and cash equivalents were $500.9 million, compared with $536.9 million as of Dec. 31, 2019.

The company ended 2019 with $311.3 million in sales.

GW Pharma trades on the Nasdaq as GWPH.