UK-based GW Pharmaceuticals recently announced success of its cannabis-derived drug in clinical trials. The company’s market value doubled overnight after it made an announcement that revealed success of cannabis-derived drug Epidiolex in reducing seizures in children with a rare form of epilepsy.
The study was first of four final-stage Phase III epilepsy trials, results of other trails are yet to come this year. The study involved 120-patients, who were given Epidiolex. The patients were found to have fair reduction in monthly convulsive seizures that was 39%, more when compared with 13% of reduction with placebo intake.
"It clearly provides us with an excellent basis to be confident about the outcome of the additional trials because this trial has shown that the previous open-label data was very predictive," said Chief Executive Justin Gover.
With the optimistic outcome, the drug manufacture set out to arrange a meeting with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ask for approval of the treatment against this particular form of epilepsy. The FDA hasn’t presently approved any therapy for Dravet syndrome.
Epidiolex is given as child-friendly syrup. After clearing up the examination to prove itself curable against certain form of epilepsy, another result to know if Epidiolex will also be useful in treating Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, another rare type of epilepsy, will be out this year. One more test to study a third epilepsy indication called tuberous sclerosis complex will be started soon.
If the drug is approved by the FDA and is sold commercially, the drug is expected to generate annual sales of $1.1 billion by 2021, according to consensus forecasts compiled by Thomson Reuters Cortellis. GW has a government license to grow cannabis plants for its medicines in southern England.