Recently it was announced that Epidiolex, a marijuana-based therapy that received impressive clinical trial results for experimental therapy in those with LGS (Lenox-Gastaut Syndrome), could be the first marijuana-based drug in the U.S. if GW Pharmaceuticals wins regulatory clearance.
Trial results sent GW’s stock soaring with shares closing at $126.06. The pharmaceutical company’s results help set the stage for application to the FDA according to reports. LGS affects approximately 30,000 Americans, and generally begins in childhood. The rare condition causes debilitating epileptic seizures, however it was determined in late-stage studies that patients taking Epidiolex experienced 44% fewer seizures over a one-month time period than those patients taking placebos.
Earlier trials conducted with Epidiolex revealed the drug may be effective in treating Dravet syndrome, another epileptic disorder.
Marijuana has long been touted as an effective treatment for pain and nausea in patients with cancer and other diseases, however Epidiolex’s primary component stems from CBD, or cannabidiol. It has shown very promising results in disorders of the central nervous system, according to GW Pharmaceuticals CEO, Justin Gover, who says the therapy doesn’t cause the “high” typically common with THC. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary ingredient in the Cannabis (marijuana) plant responsible for the mind-altering “high” feeling people often get from medical marijuana.
The pharmaceutical company believes therapies that are cannabidiol-based could be effective in treating numerous other disorders including behavioral issues and schizophrenia. GW intends to file the drug for approval in the U.S. during the first half of next year.
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