Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and the chairman of London-based GW Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Geoffrey Guy, met earlier this week at Georgia Regents University to discuss the chances of holding clinical trials of the drug company’s marijuana-based drug for children with seizure disorders.
According to local sources such as The Augusta Chronicle, Guy, also spoke to faculty and students during Grand Rounds on Tuesday. He spoke on the subject: “Finding the Medicine in Marijuana: New developments in cannabinoid medications.”
GW Pharmaceuticals has a drug derived from cannabidiol, one of the most active of the compounds in marijuana that don’t “produce a high”, named Epidiolex. Epidolex has reportedly gone through prior preliminary observational studies here in the United States and is also ready for “clinical trials in certain syndromes.” In fact, GWP recently reported that initial studies of patients with “difficult seizure disorders” (such as Dravet or Lennox-Gastaut syndromes) who were treated Epidiolex in New York and San Francisco had a 50 percent or higher reduction in the quantity of seizures.
Deal, inspired to act following the Georgia Legislature’s failure to pass a bill this year to approve clinical trials of cannabidiol oil, signed a document with GRU, GWP and the University System of Georgia regarding the further exploration of having clinical trials there. Georgia Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon) promoted a bill last year that would have allowed patients access to cannabidiol oil. He thinks the fact that this is all happening somewhere other than the capitol “is great”
He stated: “It is encouraging. There is clear indication that Epidiolex . . . has shown some real positive results. I am grateful for their acceleration of their involvement with GRU and grateful for the governor for initiating that.”
Peake added, however, that parents who would like to be involved are telling him that the studies are currently “limited to certain diagnoses” and additional legislation could still be required in order to “provide greater access.” Peake, the co-chair of a study committee on medical marijuana, concluded: “I would anticipate that we’re still going to need to look at a more extensive framework for medical cannabis in Georgia than just (the clinical trials).”