British Drug Company Beating Epilepsy With Cannabis
The GW Pharmaceuticals cure may soon be coming to America.
British drug company GW Pharmaceuticals is doing great things with weed. The medical research-and-development concern’s shares spiked to an all-time high Monday on reports that Epidiolex, its pioneering pot-based drug used to treat children with severe epilepsy, has successfully passed a third late-stage clinical trial.
The next step in the deployment of Epidiolex is to apply for marketing clearance with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. GW is expected to file that application in the first half of 2017.
Founded in 1998 with a specific concentration on cannabis-derived medications, GW Pharmaceuticals has already developed a product to address multiple sclerosis. Called Sativex (clearly named after the plant it has been plucked from), the medication is applied by spraying under the tongue and is currently available in 20 countries, none of which is the United States.
The clinically demonstrated success of Epidiolex may pave the way for Sativex as well.
Investors view Epidiolex as critical to GW's future and hopes have been building following positive feedback from "compassionate access" programs involving hundreds of American children.
In the latest trial, both tested doses of Epidiolex were found to have induced a statistically significant improvement in reducing seizures in patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), GW said.
The drug had already succeeded in another late-stage study in LGS and GW has also announced positive results from a late-stage study on patients with Dravet syndrome, another severe form of epilepsy.
Not to get ahead of reality, but if Epidiolex, which contains cannabidiol, wins FDA approval, it will be the first federally approved cannabis-extracted medication for sale in the United States. Unless some good thing from Canada beats them to it.