The next hope for GW Pharma's cannabis med: Schizophrenia treatment
- GW Pharma's Epidiolex is an oral drug made from cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive part of the marijuana plant.
- In mid-stage trials, GW's drug cannabidiol was superior to placebo for treatment of schizophrenia in patients who were non-responsive to antipsychotics.
- GW's stock rose 7% on the news, in premarket trading, to $114.44.
GW's cannabidiol has made news mainly for its successful treatment in clinical trials of seizures due to various conditions, including epilepsy, Dravet syndrome, and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. In addition, cannabidiol has been tested for treatment of muscle spasms in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Now that GW is testing cannabidiol in a new area, results have been promising so far.
In this phase 2A study, patients who had been unresponsve to treatment with antipsychotics had significant improvements in important domains, in terms of positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia, as well as cognition.
As researchers continue to test cannabidiol for this population, one approach that has been shown to be particularly effective is combining cannibidiol with antipsychotic medication.