Gov. Deal Pursuing Cannabidiol Oil Research Trials at Georgia Regents University
(APN) ATLANTA — After the stunning defeat of HB 885 in the Georgia Legislature this year, Gov. Deal announced at a news conference on April 10, 2014, that he plans to pursue clinical trials of cannabis oil at Georgia Regents University in Augusta.
The latest plan is to involve GW Pharmaceuticals, a British company, in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) testing phase.
In February 2014, GW Pharmaceuticals announced the FDA has granted orphan drug designation for Epidiolex, which contains plant-derived cannabidiol (CBD) with none of the THC that Georgia legislators irrationally fear.
The FDA also granted orphan drug designation for Epidiolex to be used in clinical trials of Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, rare and severe forms of childhood epilepsy.
The Orphan Drug Act (ODA) provides for granting special status to a drug to treat a rare disease or condition.
Dr. Yong Park, a pediatric neurologist at Georgia Regents Health System believes it may be only months before children who suffer from Dravet syndrome can enroll in studies using Epidiolex, according to an article in the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
It will be a double-blind, placebo-controlled study and not everyone in the study will get Epidiolex.
Georgia Regents University may also pursue a clinical trial using cannabis, or marijuana, grown from the U.S. government’s only marijuana farm at the University of Mississippi.
In 1968, the National Institute of Drug Abuse contracted with Old Miss to grow cannabis for research purposes. In 1970, marijuana was designated as a Schedule 1 drug like heroin and morphine, which makes it difficult for scientists to obtain cannabis for research.
Cannabis oil legislation, HB 885, was introduced this year by State Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon), who named the bill, Haleigh’s Hope, after Haleigh Cox, a four year-old girl in his District who used to have up to a hundred uncontrolled seizures a day. The bill passed the House and Senate nearly unanimously, although in different forms that could not be reconciled.
As reported in earlier by Atlanta Progressive News, State Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford), used the popular cannabis oil bill as a bargaining chip to pass another bill that the House earlier rejected, thus sealing the doom of HB 885.
Janea Cox, Haleigh’s mother, moved her daughter to Colorado to receive legal treatment with cannabis oil. The family had to split up and leave Haleigh’s father, Brian, behind in Georgia to work.
An April 03, 2014 Facebook post reports good news from Colorado: Haleigh had only two seizures that day and was talking up a storm! She loves to look at the snow.