AUGUSTA, Ga. - Researchers at Georgia Regents University will study a product derived from marijuana that could be used to treat children who suffer from seizures, under a new agreement between the university, the state and a pharmaceutical company.
Epidolex is a GW Pharmaceuticals investigational product that uses cannabidiol, a marijuana extract also known as CBD that doesn't get users high, university officials said in a written statement Tuesday.
The plan for the state university study came after lawmakers failed to pass a bill during the 2014 session allowing limited medical use of cannabidiol in Georgia.
GW Pharmaceuticals Chairman Geoffrey Guy said Georgia Regents University, which is home to the Medical College of Georgia, has the experience, expertise and infrastructure to launch the study with the scientific and regulatory standards in mind.
Guy called the collaboration an opportunity for Georgians to get solid scientific data to help them understand "how CBD works in such a challenging and vulnerable patient population."
The Food and Drug Administration has already authorized clinical trials involving Epidolex at 12 sites across the country involving more than 300 children, Georgia Regents University officials said.
"I'm grateful to Georgia Regents University and GW Pharmaceuticals for their leadership on this venture, and I'm confident that this public-partnership will deliver relief and improve quality of life for these children and their families," Gov. Nathan Deal said in a written statement.
GW Pharmaceuticals was founded in 1998 and is based in the United Kingdom. The company specializes in developing and researching medicines that contain controlled substances and plant-based medications.