A new cannabis-based drug developed by GW pharmaceuticals could shed a light of hope for children who suffer from life-threatening and rare forms of epilepsy, a study suggests. On Monday, GW declared that a patient trial consisted of 120 patients taking Epidiolex showed a significant reduction in convulsive seizures.
The results showed a 39 percent reduction of convulsive seizures in patients taking the experimental cannabis-based drug in comparison with a 13 percent reduction on patients taking placebo. Considering there’s currently no effective treatment for the disease, the experimental cannabis-based drug has proven to be useful as it successfully treated children with a rare form of severe epilepsy, known as the Dravet syndrome.
The new drug developed by GW Pharmaceuticals based on the active component of cannabis is called Epidiolex and is intended to treat the Dravet syndrome in four stages of epilepsy trials. The drug maker company’s goal is to determine if the results confirm the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids in patients showing the severe form of epilepsy.
The results of the cannabis-based drug in its pivotal trial correspond to the first evidence supporting the safety and efficacy of Epidiolex in children suffering with Dravet syndrome, according to Orrin Devinsky’s statement in the GW Pharmaceuticals press release.
Cannabis drug succeeds in trials
In other words, the study showed that Epidiolex significantly reduces convulsive seizures in patients taking GW’s cannabis-based drug in comparison with those taking placebo. These results are the most important clinical news in the company’s history according to GW Pharmaceuticals.
“The positive outcome of this Phase 3 trial is a significant milestone in the development of Epidiolex as a potential new treatment for patients suffering with Dravet syndrome,” said GW’s Chief Executive Officer Justin Gover in a press release.
The drug maker company CEO also showed their excitement about the potential for the new drug to become the first treatment for Dravet syndrome patients approved by the U.S. Food and Drugs Administration.
Thanks to the positive results from the patient trials, GW is now requesting the FDA to further discuss its plans in order to get regulatory approval for treating this rare form of severe epilepsy in children.
Dravet syndrome is one of the most catastrophic types of epilepsy in children, so it’s necessary to find an effective treatment as soon as possible, says Mary Anne Meskis who is the Executive Director of the Dravet Syndrome Foundation.