R&D Collaborations

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GW is recognised as a world leader in cannabinoid science and works closely with scientific collaborators at academic institutions across the world. These relationships yield new research pathways and valuable intellectual property. GW’s research is increasingly featured in high status peer-reviewed scientific journals.

We are pleased to be working with a number of the world’s leading cannabinoid scientists at academic institutions around the world. We believe that such collaborations are the best means for GW to advance its cannabinoid research programme and at the same time contribute to general scientific understanding of the cannabinoid system and the role of cannabinoids as new therapeutic candidates.

Reading University

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GW collaborates with scientists at Reading University in the field of epilepsy. The research team is led by Dr Ben Whalley, Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacy at the Reading School of Pharmacy. Dr Whalley is a registered and practising pharmacist whose PhD (London, 2003) research developed a novel, developmentally relevant, in vitro model of status epilepticus in rodent piriform cortex. Subsequently, he continued to work at the London School of Pharmacy as a research assistant, investigating mechanisms underlying the effects of candidate anticonvulsants for the pharmaceutical industry. Subsequently, he has built and consolidated his own research areas that include phytocannabinoid effects upon in vitro models of hyperexcitability disorders (with Dr G. Stephens) and in vivo appetite and feeding behaviour (with Dr C. Williams). He is also actively engaged in researching the computational capacity of neuronal cultures on planar electrode arrays and correlative methods between live tissue autoradiography and electrophysiology, in vitro.

Aberdeen University

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GW has a close working relationship with the University of Aberdeen. Professor Roger Pertwee, Professor of Neuropharmacology at the University of Aberdeen, is also a member of GW’s senior management team as Director of Pharmacology.  Professor Pertwee has been researching cannabinoids for over 40 years, and is the author of more than 220 publications.  He is currently International Secretary of the International Cannabinoid Research Society, of which he is also a Past President, and was a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Working Party on Therapeutic Uses of Cannabinoids. He is also Co-chair of the International Union of Pharmacology (IUPHAR) Subcommittee on Cannabinoid Receptors. He was the recipient of the 2002 Mechoulam Award “for his outstanding contributions to cannabinoid research” and in 2005 was recognized, along with only about 0.5% of all other scientists world-wide (all scientific disciplines), to be an “ISI Highly Cited Researcher” (see http://www.abdn.ac.uk/ims/staff/details.php?id=rgp).

In addition to Professor Pertwee, GW collaborates with a number of other prominent researchers at Aberdeen including Professor Ruth Ross and Professor Gernot Riedel, both Chairs in the School of Medical Sciences.

Hebrew University

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GW also works with Professor Raphael Mechoulam, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Professor Mechoulam has been working on cannabinoid chemistry for over 40 years, indeed he coined the term. In 1964, it was Professor Mechoulam’s lab which first identified and synthesized delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”), the main psychoactive component of cannabis. Since then his team has gone on to identify the structure of most of the cannabinoids and metabolites and to discover the endogenous cannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG), which occur naturally in the body. Professor Mechoulam has authored over 270 publications and is an inventor on 21 patents, including several synthetic cannabinoids

Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry of the National Research Council, Italy

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GW works closely with the research team headed by Professor Vincenzo Di Marzo at the Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry of the National Research Council (ICB-CNR) in Pozzuoli, Naples, Italy. Prof Di Marzo is Research Director at the Institute, coordinator of the Endocannabinoid Research Group in the Naples region, and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Prof Di Marzo is co-author of more than 370 articles published in peer-reviewed journals, including several reviews on endocannabinoids. In addition, he is, or has been, on the editorial board of Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes, and Essential Fatty Acids; Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics; Critical Reviews in Neurobiology; Recent Patents in CNS Drug Discovery and the British Journal of Pharmacology. In 2007 he was the 4th most cited author in the field of “Pharmacology and Toxicology” (http://www.in-cites.com/nobel/2007-pha-top100.html). He has served as President of the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS) between 2004 and 2005. In June 2007, he was awarded by the ICRS the Mechoulam Award for “his outstanding contributions to cannabinoid research”.

Complutense University, Spain

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GW collaborates with the research team at Complutense University led by Manuel Guzmán, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. During the last ten years, Prof Guzmán has been mostly involved in the study of the molecular mechanisms of cannabinoid action in neural cells, with especial emphasis on how cannabinoids induce cancer cell death and control neural cell generation. These studies have allowed the characterization of new effects and signalling pathways coupled to cannabinoid receptors, and overall support the notion that cannabinoids impact very basic processes of neural cell fate. GW also works with Ass Prof Cristina Sánchez who leads a group of researchers within Dr. Guzmán’s laboratory committed to understanding and exploiting cannabinoids as potential antitumoural agents in breast cancer.

University of Naples Federico II, Italy

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GW collaborates with the research team led by professor Angelo A. Izzo at the University of Naples Federico II (School of Pharmacy). Angelo A. Izzo is mostly involved in studying the receptors for plant-derived compounds (cannabinoid, TRP and κ-opioid receptors) and their role in the digestive tract. Cannabinoid research includes the study of phytocannabinoids in well-established preclinical models of  irritable bowel syndrome,  inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer. Close collaborators of Angelo Izzo include Drs Francesca Borrelli, Gabriella Aviello and Barbara Romano (involved in intestinal inflammation and cancer) and Dr Raffaele Capasso (involved in intestinal motility studies). The team has published about 150 articles in peer-reviewed international Journals, including about 50 articles (original papers and reviews) on cannabinoid research. Angelo A. Izzo is on the Editorial board of British Journal of Pharmacology,  World Journal of Gastroenterology and Phytotherapy Research. He has been also the recipient of the “Alberico Benedicenti Prize” (2002, from the Italian Society of Pharmacology) and of the “Young investigator award” (2006, from the International Cannabinoid Research Society).

University of Insubria, Italy

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GW collaborates with the research team at University of Insubria headed by Daniela Parolaro, full professor of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology. During the last ten years her research in the field of cannabinoids has focused on the cellular and molecular underpinnings of THC’s effects and on the possible role of the endocannabinoid system in the neurobiology of anxiety, depression and schizophrenia, maintaining the peculiarity of coupling behavioural responses with their cellular correlates. Moreover she has obtained exciting results exploring the antiproliferative effect of the non psychoactive CBD on gliomas showing its ability to inhibit cell proliferation and motility. As a whole these studies underline CBD as a molecule able to impair the multifaceted features of cancer progression and growth and suggest that it could act as a novel tool for the management of gliomas. Currently studies on the effect on gliomas using other phytocannabinoids and/or their association are in progress. Close collaborators of Daniela Parolaro include  Dr  Tiziana Rubino (for emotionality and schizophrenia) Dr  Paola Massi ( at University of Milan, for CBD and gliomas ) Marta Valenti and Marta Solinas ( phytocannabinoids and glioma).

Daniela has served as President of the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS) between 2005 and 2006 and is currently a member of the editorial board of IACM (International Association of Cannabis as Medicine); she occupies several relevant academic positions at University of Insubria.