New research published by GW Pharmaceuticals has given hope that a new pain drug Sativex could provide relief for patients with advanced cancer where pain is not fully relieved by strong opioids.

The report published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management showed positive preliminary results from a multinational randomised placebo-controlled study in 177 patients that had not benefited from strong opioids.

The results showed a significant improvement in the Sativex group with twice as many patients on Sativex achieving a clinically meaningful improvement in their pain score of 30% or better compared with a placebo.

GW’s R&D director Stephen Wright said that the company would continue to progress the development of Sativex in this important area of high unmet medical need

“Sativex consists of two cannabinoid extracts with CBD and THC as the primary components, and the fact that the comparative THC extract medicine was not effective in relieving pain provides good evidence of the benefits that the presence of CBD confers on Sativex,” he said.