Surprise, surprise, cannabis just may be the answer to yet another illness! (Queue hippies cheering in the background)
GW Pharmaceuticals have been working on an experimental cannabis-based drug called Epidiolex to treat a rare and severe form of Epilepsy. The results are out for GW’s first of 4 Phase III Epilepsy trials on children with the severe form of Epilepsy, Dravet syndrome, and the results seem quite positive.
Among the 120 patients in the trial, the researchers noticed an average monthly reduction of seizures by 39%, as opposed to the 13% reduced caused by placebos. These results may be the needed proof to confirm the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids; they also give high promise that a new class of medication may finally surface, for a range of conditions. GW is taking these results to the FDA to discuss plans for regulatory approval of Epidiolex; to date, no FDA-approved drug for Dravet is available. The drug is also being tested in Phase III trials on another rare form of Epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and results are expected later this year.
GW use a purified form of the active ingredients in cannabis so as to avoid the psychoactive effects, making their drugs child-friendly. Of course, these results are expected to double GW’s value, having already raised their stocks by 125% simply because of the optimism surrounding the current trials. By 2021, GW is expected to generate $ 1.1 billion in annual sales.