UC San Diego researchers Tuesday announced plans to conduct a trial on the use of cannabis to treat a common movement disorder known as essential tremor.
The Nanaimo, B.C. -based company and a researcher at the University of California San Diego believe it is the first export of a cannabis study drug from a Canadian company to the USA, where marijuana is still illegal at the federal level. According to the CMCR, current drugs to treat essential tremor (originally developed for high blood pressure or seizures) are ineffective for many patients.
The drastic swings in the stock follow a almost 30 per cent jump on Tuesday after the Nanaimo, B.C. - based firm announced it got the green light from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to export cannabis in capsule form to a researcher at a university in the U.S., where the drug is still illegal at the federal level. "It's showing that these cannabinoids may be effective at treating a number of diseases that people hadn't thought of before". "And we commend Tilray for the development of this study drug which has the potential to help thousands of people who struggle with ET". With support from the California State Legislature, CMCR initiated the first therapeutic studies using smoked cannabis in over 20 years, completed seven key studies regarding the short-term benefits of cannabis for the treatment of neuropathic pain and spasticity, and has numerous active research projects, funded by both the State and National Institutes of Health. Scientists have long complained about the difficulty of obtaining that marijuana, as well as its limited quality, variety and usefulness for clinical research.
The news signals yet "another encouraging sign of improved government support for cannabis research", Cowen analyst Vivien Azer said in a note, Bloomberg reports.
Marijuana compounds have been imported for clinical trials before, including by Britain-based GW Pharmaceuticals, which won approval this year to sell its purified CBD capsule, Epidiolex, to treat severe forms of epilepsy - the first cannabis drug approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.
"It's a really big milestone for Tilray and also just for the whole industry", said Catherine Jacobson, Tilray's director of clinical research. "We have been able to prove to the FDA that we can manufacture investigational study drugs containing cannabinoids that meet their standards".
The University of California San Diego researchers said they needed marijuana extracts in capsule form because it's easier to monitor the doses that patients receive, compared to having patients smoke or vaporize it.
Cannabis is a Schedule 1 drug, as defined by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and availability for research purposes is strictly limited.
Yet marijuana for study is typically only available in dry-bud form or cigarettes, cultivated at the University of MS and provided via the National Institute on Drug Abuse. We are grateful to Dr. Nahab and UC San Diego Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research for their dedication to scientific research of this kind.