In the United Kingdom, clinical trials have begun that will examine the safety of a probable new anti-epileptic therapy, GWP42006, which is a drug derived from specific chemotypes of the miraculously beneficial marijuana plant.
This particular study follows a five-year pre-clinical research program that was conducted at the University of Reading in collaboration with the plant-derived cannabinoid drug company GW Pharmaceuticals.
GW Pharmaceuticals has reportedly identified GWP42006 as “one of the most promising” cannabinoids that might be used as an effective treatment for those individuals suffering with epilepsy.
The level of interest regarding marijuana-derived compounds being used as an anti-epileptic treatment has seemingly grown pointedly over the last few months, particularly among pediatric epilepsy specialists practicing here in the United States.
GW Pharmaceuticals has defined the advancement of GWP42006 to Phase 1 clinical trial as “a significant milestone.” The cannabinoid compound is not only non-psychoactive, it is also said to suppress seizures but to do so without causing the patients any documented side effects.
Dr. Ben Whalley, senior lecturer in pharmacology at the Reading School of Pharmacy, noted that the compound is “better tolerated” than many currently approved anti-epileptic therapies and it “exerts significant anticonvulsant effects in a wide range of preclinical models of seizure and epilepsy.”
“It is also noteworthy that GWP42006 appears to employ a different mechanism of action to currently available anti-epileptic treatments,” Dr. Whalley explained. “Together, these findings fully support the exciting clinical development that is now underway and represent an important step towards a more effective and better tolerated treatment for epilepsy.”
Dr. Stephen Wright, director of research and development at GW Pharmaceuticals, believes GWP42006 has the potential to “become an important advance” in the treatment of epilepsy and could fulfill a “substantial unmet need.”
Current pharmaceutical drug therapies are thought to be ineffectual for as many as 30 percent of all individuals suffering with epilepsy, either due to the fact that they are unsuccessful in controlling seizures or their usage leads to adverse side effects.