After securing a landmark approval for the use of its marijuana medicine Epidiolex in two rare forms of epilepsy last year, GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:GWPH) reported impressive clinical trial results Tuesday that could double its addressable market next year. In phase 3 studies, Epidiolex reduced the risk of monthly seizures by 48% in patients with tuberous sclerosis complex, a genetic disorder.
Note: Marijuana is comprised of over 100 chemical cannabinoids that can interact with receptors in the brain and nervous system, including cannabidiol, or CBD, the 2nd-most common cannabinoid.
Yes, there have been anecdotal reports over the years of marijuana’s efficacy in reducing seizures, GW Pharmaceuticals is the 1st drug developer to scientifically evaluate the effectiveness of CBD in reducing seizures in patients in order to secure Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.
The company’s purified CBD oil, Epidiolex, was studied in over 2,000 patients participating in 4 Phase 3 studies. Those studies showed a daily dose of Epidiolex lowered the number of seizures experienced by Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome patients by over 40%. Importantly, Epidiolex’s benefits were evident up to 2 years later.
The results were particularly impressive because Dravet syndrome and LGS are notoriously hard to treat with existing antiepileptic medications. Those participating in trials had tried and