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 yesterday 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.
Marijuana as an epilepsy medication
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Marijuana is comprised of over 100 chemical cannabinoids that can interact with receptors in the brain and nervous system, including cannabidiol, or CBD, the second-most common cannabinoid.
Although there have been anecdotal reports for years of marijuana’s efficacy in reducing seizures, GW Pharmaceuticals was the first drug developer to scientifically evaluate the effectiveness of CBD in reducing seizures in patients in order to secure Food and Drug Administration approval.
The company’s purified CBD oil, Epidiolex, was studied in over 2,000 patients participating in four phase 3