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An experimental drug derived from marijuana has succeeded in reducing epileptic seizures in its first major clinical trial, the product’s developer announced 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.
If Epidiolex wins regulatory approval, it would be the first prescription drug in the United States that is extracted from marijuana.
“The results of this Epidiolex pivotal trial are important and exciting, as they represent the first placebo-controlled evidence to support the safety and efficacy of pharmaceutical cannabidiol in children with Dravet syndrome,” Dr. Orrin Devinsky of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at New York University Langone Medical Center, said in a statement.
Epidiolex contains almost pure cannabidiol, a component of marijuana that does not make people high. GW is hoping that if the drug gets approved, doctors and parents will favor it over products from medical marijuana dispensers, which will not have gone through the same rigorous vetting.
Epidiolex contains almost pure cannabidiol, a component of marijuana that does not make people high.