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UC San Diego’s Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research Add Anxiety in Anorexia Nervosa to Series of Collaborative Cannabidiol (CBD) Studies

INSYS Therapeutics, Inc. a leader in the development, manufacture and commercialization of pharmaceutical cannabinoids and spray technology, today announced that its collaboration with the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR) at the University of California (UC) San Diego School of Medicine has added a third study.

This additional study will evaluate the pharmacological effects of cannabidiol (CBD) oral solution from INSYS on anxiety associated with anorexia nervosa in adult patients. The previous two collaborative CMCR studies, announced earlier this year, will focus on CBD in the treatment of severe symptoms of autism in pediatric patients and early psychosis in adult patients. The IND (investigational new drug) application for the autism study is on track for filing in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Separately, INSYS has initiated three clinical trials of its CBD oral solution—for childhood absence epilepsy (Phase 2), infantile spasms (Phase 3) and Prader-Willi syndrome (Phase 2)—and is actively considering others as a sponsor or collaborator. In addition, the company continues to support an ongoing study of CBD as a potential treatment for cocaine dependence with the University of Montreal and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

“Anorexia nervosa is difficult to treat and, in some cases, may be a fatal condition,” said Emily Gray, MD, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at UC San Diego. “There is preliminary research that suggests cannabinoids may be beneficial in treating this and other eating disorders. The administration of CBD is of interest because of the possibility that this drug might reduce anxiety, and perhaps normalize reward and motivation. The UC San Diego Eating Disorders Center has been at the forefront of understanding the neurobiology of these diseases and looks forward to further investigating.”

INSYS has a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility with unique capabilities to produce pharmaceutical-grade cannabinoids, including CBD.

“With three CMCR studies of our CBD oral solution already planned, this collaboration has contributed to our momentum,” said Saeed Motahari, president and chief executive officer of INSYS Therapeutics. “We also look forward to reporting the results of our company-sponsored CBD trials.”

CMCR Director Igor Grant, MD, professor and chair of the psychiatry department at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, added: “Cannabinoids, and cannabidiol specifically, have generated much excitement as promising new avenues of treatment, but much needs to be learned about their indications, efficacy and limitations. This study in adult patients with anorexia nervosa moves to fill critical knowledge gaps.”