An experimental drug derived from marijuana has succeeded in reducing epileptic seizures in its first major clinical trial, the product’s developer announced on Monday, a finding that could lend credence to the medical marijuana movement.
The developer, GW Pharmaceuticals, said the drug, Epidiolex, achieved the main goal of the trial, reducing convulsive seizures when compared with a placebo in patients with Dravet syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy. GW shares more than doubled on Monday.
If Epidiolex wins regulatory approval, it would be the first prescription drug in the United States that is extracted from marijuana. The drug is a liquid containing cannabidiol, a component of marijuana that does not make people high.
As many as 30 percent of the nearly 500,000 American children with epilepsy are not sufficiently helped by existing drugs, according to GW. Parents of some of these children have been flocking to try marijuana extracts, prepared by medical marijuana dispensaries.
Click here to read the full story by Andrew Pollack, New York Times.