- May 18, 2018
- Posted by: PharmaScroll
As per the recent update on Futureneuro website, a new partnership between FutureNeuro, the SFI Research Centre for Chronic and Rare Neurological diseases based at RCSI and GreenLight Medicines, an indigenous Irish biopharmaceutical company has been formed to develop new cannabis-based treatments for drug resistant epilepsies, and in particular, childhood epilepsies.
The research will explore how cannabidiol (CBD) and other non-psychoactive molecules from the cannabis plant can reduce seizures. It will also look at optimising the effectiveness of this new approach to treat epilepsy.
“This project has strong alignment with FutureNeuro’s strategic goal to bring novel treatments to patients in Ireland with difficult to control epilepsy” said Professor David Henshall, academic supervisor on the project and FutureNeuro Director.
Dr. Colin Doherty, National Clinical Lead for Epilepsy and a Principal Investigator at the FutureNeuro Centre said, “The use of cannabis to treat epilepsy offers a tantalising new horizon for severe disabling seizures. The mechanism by which CBD exerts its antiepileptic effects is currently unknown, and this impactful research will help to provide clinical evidence of its long-term efficacy, as well as data on any long-term side effects.”
Dr. James Linden, CEO of GreenLight Medicines said “We are delighted to work with FutureNeuro to investigate if Greenlight compounds have potential as treatments for drug-resistant epilepsy. It is a great opportunity to make a difference to the lives of thousands of epilepsy patients across the globe”.
Director of Programmes and Investments at Science Foundation Ireland Dr. Darrin Morrissey said “FutureNeuro brings together an exceptional team of scientists, clinicians and other experts to address the urgent needs of patients with chronic and rare neurological diseases such as epilepsy and motor neurone disease. In a globally unique way, the Centre will undertake cutting-edge research on diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders that leverages the emerging electronic healthcare infrastructure in Ireland. With industry partners and hospital networks, the Centre aims to translate research into effective diagnostic supports, treatments and monitoring systems to benefit the lives of patients living with these debilitating and often devastating conditions”.
The partnership will create a large research framework connecting internationally-recognised neuroscientists, research infrastructure and pre-clinical models and will enable identification and interaction with clinicians who can assist with translation to the clinic.
In a separate research, published in NYU Langone Health, Cannabidiol (CBD), a compound derived from the cannabis plant that does not produce a “high” and has been an increasing focus of medical research, was shown in a new large-scale, randomized, controlled trial to significantly reduce the number of dangerous seizures in patients with a severe form of epilepsy called Lennox–Gastaut syndrome.
In this new study comparing 2 doses of CBD to a placebo, the researchers reported a 41.9 percent reduction in “drop seizures”—a type of seizure that results in severe loss of muscle control and balance—in patients taking a 20 mg/kg/d CBD regimen, a 37.2 percent reduction in those on a 10 mg/kg/d CBD regimen, and a 17.2 percent reduction in a group given a placebo.
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