GW Pharmaceuticals saw its stock drop 5% this morning in a knee-jerk reaction to news of disappointing cancer pain data for its cannabis drug Sativex, but was up again nearly 13% higher later in the day as investors mulled over more positive developments elsewhere in the pipeline.

Stock initially dipped after GW and Otsuka revealed data from the first of three Phase III trials, showing that Sativex failed to alleviate uncontrolled pain in patients with advanced cancer, missing its primary target.

However, despite the setback the firms remain upbeat. “Based upon the positive data seen in the Phase II program, we remain confident in the ability for Sativex to relieve cancer pain in this patient population”, said Justin Gover, GW’s chief executive, noting that if the remaining two Phase II trails are positive an application for this indication could still be submitted to US regulators. 

Meanwhile, in more positive news, GW also issued an update for its key development programme testing Epidiolex (pure cannabidiol, or CBD) for severe, drug-resistant childhood epilepsy, noting that all aspects are “advancing on time” and that pivotal Phase III trials should complete by the end of this year.

Gover also said in addition to programmes already underway in both Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes, “data from the expanded access program continues to point to the potential for Epidiolex to treat additional forms of epilepsy and we expect to commence clinical development programs in further potential target indications during 2015”.