GW Pharmaceuticals has been boosted by the news that the health authorities in Germany have granted regulatory approval for Sativex, its cannabis-based treatment for the treatment of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis.

The thumbs-up in the country which has the largest MS population in Europe, covers Sativex (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol) as an add-on therapy to treat moderate to severe spasticity due to MS in patients who have not responded adequately to other anti-spasticity medication. It is delivered by an oromucosal spray and is sprayed into the mouth either onto the inside of the cheek or under the tongue and is already available for MS patients in the UK and Spain.

GW says marketing partner Almirall expects to introduce the drug in the German market in July and before the end of 2011 in Denmark and Sweden. Sativex is scheduled to be launched in Italy, Czech Republic and Austria in 2012.

Sativex is also in Phase III trials for the treatment of cancer pain.