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Use Of Cannabinoids In The Treatment Of Epilepsy

  *US20150359756A1*
  US20150359756A1                                 
(19)United States 
(12)Patent Application Publication(10)Pub. No.: US 2015/0359756 A1
 (43)Pub. Date:Dec.  17, 2015

(54)USE OF CANNABINOIDS IN THE TREATMENT OF EPILEPSY 
    
(76)Inventor: GW Pharma Limited,  Cambridge (GB) 
(21)Appl. No.: 14/741,829 
(22)Filed: Jun.  17, 2015 
(30)Foreign Application Priority Data 
 Jun.  17, 2014(GB)1410771.8
 Publication Classification 
(51)Int. Cl. A61K 031/05 (20060101); A61K 047/44 (20060101); A61K 047/10 (20060101); A61K 047/26 (20060101); A61K 031/19 (20060101); A61K 031/53 (20060101); A61K 031/4015 (20060101); A61K 031/551 (20060101); A61K 031/5513 (20060101); A61K 031/27 (20060101); A61K 031/197 (20060101); A61K 031/165 (20060101); A61K 031/5517 (20060101); A61K 031/36 (20060101); A61K 031/35 (20060101); A61K 031/496 (20060101); A61K 031/423 (20060101); A61K 036/185 (20060101)
CPC A61K 031/05 (20130101); A61K 036/185 (20130101); A61K 047/44 (20130101); A61K 047/10 (20130101); A61K 047/26 (20130101); A61K 031/19 (20130101); A61K 031/53 (20130101); A61K 031/4015 (20130101); A61K 031/551 (20130101); A61K 031/5513 (20130101); A61K 031/27 (20130101); A61K 031/197 (20130101); A61K 031/165 (20130101); A61K 031/5517 (20130101); A61K 031/36 (20130101); A61K 031/35 (20130101); A61K 031/496 (20130101); A61K 031/423 (20130101)

        

(57)

Abstract

The present disclosure relates to the use of cannabidiol (CBD) in the treatment of absence seizures. In particular, the disclosure relates to the use of CBD for reducing absence seizures in patients suffering with etiologies that include: Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome; Tuberous Sclerosis Complex; Dravet Syndrome; Doose Syndrome; CDKL5; Dup15q; Jeavons syndrome; Myoclonic Absence Epilepsy; Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) and brain abnormalities. The disclosure further relates to the use of CBD in combination with one or more anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs).
 Claim(s),  Drawing Sheet(s), and Figure(s)
 
 


FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to the use of cannabidiol (CBD) in the treatment of absence seizures. In one embodiment the patients suffering from absence seizures are children and young adults. CBD appears particularly effective in reducing absence seizures in patients suffering with etiologies that include: Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome; Tuberous Sclerosis Complex; Dravet Syndrome; Doose Syndrome; CDKL5; Dup15q; Jeavons syndrome; Myoclonic Absence Epilepsy; Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) and brain abnormalities in comparison to other seizure types.
[0002] Significantly CBD proved very effective in treating a sub-type of absence seizures, namely myoclonic absence seizures. The etiologies of patients which suffer from myoclonic absence seizures include Doose Syndrome, Jeavons syndrome and Myoclonic Absence Epilepsy syndrome.
[0003] In these patients treatment with CBD reduced the occurrence of absence seizures or myoclonic absence seizures by greater than 50% in a large proportion of patients, 64% and 75% respectively. This was surprising given that the proportion of patients benefiting from a greater than 50% reduction in total seizures was significantly less, (46%), in all subjects treated.
[0004] Preferably the CBD used is in the form of a highly purified extract of cannabis such that the CBD is present at greater than 98% of the total extract (w/w) and the other components of the extract are characterised. In particular the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has been substantially removed, to a level of not more than 0.15% (w/w) and the propyl analogue of CBD, cannabidivarin, (CBDV) is present in amounts of up to 1%. Alternatively, the CBD may be a synthetically produced CBD.
[0005] In use the CBD may be used concomitantly with one or more other anti-epileptic drugs (AED). When used in combination with another AED the CBD may be formulated for administration separately, sequentially or simultaneously with the one or more AED or the combination may be provided in a single dosage form. Where the CBD is formulated for administration separately, sequentially or simultaneously it may be provided as a kit or together with instructions to administer the one or more components in the manner indicated. It may also be used as the sole medication, i.e. as a monotherapy.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

[0006] Epilepsy occurs in approximately 1% of the population worldwide, (Thurman et al., 2011) of which 70% are able to adequately control their symptoms with the available existing anti-epileptic drugs (AED). However, 30% of this patient group, (Eadie et al., 2012), are unable to obtain seizure freedom from the AED that are available and as such are termed as suffering from intractable or “treatment-resistant epilepsy” (TRE).
[0007] Intractable or treatment-resistant epilepsy was defined in 2009 by the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) as “failure of adequate trials of two tolerated and appropriately chosen and used AED schedules (whether as monotherapies or in combination) to achieve sustained seizure freedom” (Kwan et al., 2009).
[0008] Individuals who develop epilepsy during the first few years of life are often difficult to treat and as such are often termed treatment-resistant. Children who undergo frequent seizures in childhood are often left with neurological damage which can cause cognitive, behavioral and motor delays.
[0009] Childhood epilepsy is a relatively common neurological disorder in children and young adults with a prevalence of approximately 700 per 100,000. This is twice the number of epileptic adults per population.
[0010] When a child or young adult presents with a seizure, investigations are normally undertaken in order to investigate the cause. Childhood epilepsy can be caused by many different syndromes and genetic mutations and as such diagnosis for these children may take some time.
[0011] The main symptom of epilepsy is repeated seizures. In order to determine the type of epilepsy or the epileptic syndrome that a patient is suffering from, an investigation into the type of seizures that the patient is experiencing is undertaken. Clinical observations and electroencephalography (EEG) tests are conducted and the type(s) of seizures are classified according to the ILAE classification described below and in FIG. 1.
[0012] The International classification of seizure types proposed by the ILAE was adopted in 1981 and a revised proposal was published by the ILAE in 2010 and has not yet superseded the 1981 classification. FIG. 1 is adapted from the 2010 proposal for revised terminology and includes the proposed changes to replace the terminology of partial with focal. In addition the term “simple partial seizure” has been replaced by the term “focal seizure where awareness/responsiveness is not impaired” and the term “complex partial seizure” has been replaced by the term “focal seizure where awareness/consciousness is impaired”.
[0013] From FIG. 1 it can be seen that Generalised seizures, where the seizure arises within and rapidly engages bilaterally distributed networks, can be split into six subtypes: Tonic-Clonic (grand mal) seizures; Absence (petit mal) Seizures; Clonic Seizures; Tonic Seizures; Atonic Seizures and Myoclonic Seizures.
[0014] Focal (partial) seizures where the seizure originates within networks limited to only one hemisphere, are also split into sub-categories. Here the seizure is characterized according to one or more features of the seizure, including aura, motor, autonomic and awareness/responsiveness. Where a seizure begins as a localized seizure and rapidly evolves to be distributed within bilateral networks this seizure is known as a Bilateral convulsive seizure, which is the proposed terminology to replace Secondary Generalised Seizures (generalized seizures that have evolved from focal seizures and are no longer remain localized).
[0015] Absence seizures can occur as Typical absence seizures; Atypical absence seizures or Absence seizures with special features such as Myoclonic absence and Eyelid myoclonia.
[0016] Typical absence seizures are generalized seizures with a sudden onset and offset of altered awareness. The altered awareness can vary in severity dependent on the specific syndrome that the patient is suffering from. Clonic movements of the eyelids, head, eyebrows, chin perioral or other facial parts can occur, whereas myoclonus of limbs only occurs rarely. In addition, absence status epilepticus can also occur.
[0017] Atypical absence seizures have a less sudden onset and offset of loss of awareness than occurs in typical absence seizures. They are associates with other features such as loss of muscle tone of the head, trunk or limbs and subtle myoclonic jerks. A loss of awareness is usually minimal.
[0018] Myoclonic absence seizures present with bilateral rhythmic myoclonic jerks of the shoulders and arms. There is tonic abduction which results in progressive lifting of the arms during the seizure. Seizures last between 10 and 60 seconds and there may be a complete loss of awareness.
[0019] Eyelid myoclonia are absence seizures which are accompanied by brief repetitive myoclonic jerks of the eyelids with simultaneous upward deviation of the eyeballs and extension of the head. Seizures are typically brief and multiple seizures can occur on a daily basis. Awareness is mostly retained.
[0020] Absence seizures may occur in epilepsy syndromes including: Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome; Myoclonic Absence Epilepsy; Tuberous Sclerosis Complex; Dravet Syndrome; Doose Syndrome; CDKL5; Dup15q; Jeavons Syndrome; Myoclonic Absence Epilepsy; Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) and brain abnormalities.
[0021] Epileptic syndromes often present with many different types of seizure and identifying the types of seizure that a patient is suffering from is important as many of the standard AED's are targeted to treat or are only effective against a given seizure type/sub-type.
[0022] The first line treatment for absence seizures usually comprises a broad spectrum AED, such as sodium valproate, lamotrigine or ethosuximide. A combination of these medicaments may be required in order to treat absence seizures.
[0023] Common AED defined by their mechanisms of action are described in the following tables:
[00001] [TABLE-US-00001]
  TABLE 1
 
  Examples of narrow spectrum AED
  Narrow-    
  spectrum
  AED   Mechanism   Indication
 
  Phenytoin   Sodium channel   Complex partial
      Tonic-clonic
  Phenobarbital   GABA/Calcium channel   Partial seizures
      Tonic-clonic
  Carbamazepine   Sodium channel   Partial seizures
      Tonic-clonic
      Mixed seizures
  Oxcarbazepine   Sodium channel   Partial seizures
      Tonic-clonic
      Mixed seizures
  Gabapentin   Calcium channel   Partial seizures
      Mixed seizures
  Pregabalin   Calcium channel   Adjunct therapy for partial
      seizures with or without
      secondary generalisation
  Lacosamide   Sodium channel   Adjunct therapy for partial
      seizures
  Vigabatrin   GABA   Secondarily generalized tonic-
      clonic seizures
      Partial seizures
      Infantile spasms due to West
      syndrome
 
[00002] [TABLE-US-00002]
  TABLE 2
 
  Examples of broad spectrum AED
  Broad-    
  spectrum
  AED   Mechanism   Indication
 
  Valproic acid   GABA/Sodium channel   First-line treatment for tonic-
      clonic seizures, absence
      seizures and myoclonic
      seizures
      Second-line treatment for
      partial seizures and infantile
      spasms.
      Intravenous use in status
      epilepticus
  Lamotrigine   Sodium channel   Partial seizures
      Tonic-clonic
      Seizures associated with
      Lennox-Gastaut syndrome
  Ethosuximide   Calcium channel   Absence seizures
  Topiramate   GABA/Sodium channel   Seizures associated with
      Lennox-Gastaut syndrome
  Zonisamide   GABA/Calcium/Sodium   Adjunctive therapy in adults
    channel   with partial-onset seizures
      Infantile spasm
      Mixed seizure
      Lennox-Gastaut syndrome
      Myoclonic
      Generalised tonic-clonic
      seizure
  Levetiracetam   Calcium channel   Partial seizures
      Adjunctive therapy for partial,
      myoclonic and tonic-clonic
      seizures
  Clonazepam   GABA   Typical and atypical absences
      Infantile myoclonic
      Myoclonic seizures
      Akinetic seizures
  Rufinamide   Sodium channel   Adjunctive treatment of
      partial seizures associated
      with Lennox-Gastaut
      syndrome
 
[00003] [TABLE-US-00003]
  TABLE 3
 
  Examples of AED used specifically in childhood epilepsy
    AED   Mechanism   Indication
   
    Clobazam   GABA   Adjunctive therapy in complex
        partial seizures
        Status epilepticus
        Myoclonic
        Myoclonic-absent
        Simple partial
        Complex partial
        Absence seizures
        Lennox-Gastaut syndrome
    Stiripentol   GABA   Severe myoclonic epilepsy in
        infancy (Dravet syndrome)
   
[0024] From these tables it can be seen that the three AED that are used as first line treatments for absence seizures, namely: sodium valproate, lamotrigine or ethosuximide are GABA/sodium channel, sodium channel and calcium channel drugs respectively.
[0025] It can also be seen from these tables that other AED are approved for use in absence seizures, these include clonazepam and clobazam, both of which work by a GABA mechanism.
[0026] Over the past forty years there have been a number of animal studies on the use of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) to treat seizures. For example, Consroe et al., (1982) determined that CBD was able to prevent seizures in mice after administration of pro-convulsant drugs or an electric current.
[0027] Studies in epileptic adults have also occurred in the past forty years with CBD. Cunha et al. reported that administration of CBD to eight adult patients with generalized epilepsy resulted in a marked reduction of seizures in 4 of the patients (Cunha et al., 1980).
[0028] A study in 1978 provided 200 mg/day of pure CBD to four adult patients, two of the four patients became seizure free, whereas in the remainder seizure frequency was unchanged (Mechoulam and Carlini, 1978).
[0029] In contrast to the studies described above, an open label study reported that 200 mg/day of pure CBD was ineffective in controlling seizures in twelve institutionalized adult patients (Ames and Cridland, 1986).
[0030] Based on the fact that chronologically the last study to look at the effectiveness of CBD in patients with epilepsy proved that CBD was unable to control seizures, there would be no expectation that CBD might be useful as an anti-convulsant agent.
[0031] In the past forty years of research there have been over thirty drugs approved for the treatment of epilepsy none of which are cannabinoids. Indeed, there appears to have been a prejudice against cannabinoids, possibly due to the scheduled nature of these compounds and/or the fact that THC, which is a known psychoactive, has been ascribed as a pro-convulsant (Consroe et al., 1977).
[0032] A paper published recently suggested that cannabidiol-enriched cannabis may be efficacious in the treatment of epilepsy. Porter and Jacobson (2013) report on a parent survey conducted via a Facebook group which explored the use of cannabis which was enriched with CBD in children with treatment-resistant epilepsy. It was found that sixteen of the 19 parents surveyed reported an improvement in their child's epilepsy. The children surveyed for this paper were all taking cannabis that was purported to contain CBD in a high concentration although the amount of CBD present and the other constituents including THC were not known for many of the cases. Indeed, whilst CBD levels ranged from 0.5 to 28.6 mg/kg/day (in those extracts tested), THC levels as high as 0.8 mg/kg/day were reported.
[0033] Providing children with TRE with a cannabis extract that comprises THC, which has been described as a pro-convulsant (Consroe et al., 1977), at a potentially psychoactive dose of 0.8 mg/kg/day, is a concern and as such there is a need to determine whether CBD is in fact efficacious.
[0034] In November 2013 the company GW Pharmaceuticals made a press release to state that they were intending to treat Dravet Syndrome with CBD as it had received orphan drug designation.
[0035] To date there have been no controlled trials of CBD in children and young adults with intractable epilepsy.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

[0036] In accordance with a first aspect of the present invention there is provided cannabidiol (CBD) for use in the treatment of epilepsy, wherein the epilepsy is characterised by absence seizures.
[0037] In one embodiment the epilepsy is a childhood epilepsy.
[0038] In one embodiment the absence seizures are myoclonic absence seizures.
[0039] Surprisingly, the CBD has been shown to be particularly effective in subjects with epilepsy which is treatment-resistant.
[0040] In a further embodiment the CBD is for use in combination with one or more concomitant anti-epileptic drugs (AED).
[0041] Preferably the absence seizures to be treated are in patients diagnosed with: Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome; Myoclonic Absence Epilepsy; Tuberous Sclerosis Complex; Dravet Syndrome; Doose Syndrome; Jeavons Syndrome; CDKL5; Dup15q; Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) and brain abnormalities.
[0042] Most preferably the treatment-resistant epilepsy is one of: Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome; Dravet Syndrome and Myoclonic Absence Epilepsy.
[0043] In a further embodiment the CBD is present as a highly purified extract of cannabis which comprises at least 98% (w/w) CBD. Preferably the extract comprises less than 0.15% THC. More preferably the extract further comprises up to 1% CBDV.
[0044] In an alternative embodiment the CBD is present as a synthetic compound.
[0045] In a further embodiment of the invention the one or more AED is selected from the group consisting of: clobazam, clonazepam, clorazepate, desmethylclobazam, diazepam, ethosuximide, felbamate, gabapentin, ketogenic diet, lacosamide, lamotrigine, levetiracetam, lorazepam, midazolam, N-desmethylclobazam, nordiazepam, phenytoin, stiripentol, topiramate, trazodone, vagus nerve stimulation, valproic acid, vigabatrin, and zonisamide.
[0046] Preferably the one or more AED is selected from the group consisting of sodium valproate; lamotrigine; ethosuximide; clobazam and clonazepam.
[0047] Preferably the number of different anti-epileptic drugs that are used in combination with the CBD is reduced. Alternatively the dose of anti-epileptic drugs that are used in combination with the CBD is reduced.
[0048] There are many side effects associated with the commonly used AED which include dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, respiratory system depression, tiredness, headaches, and other motor side effects on the central nervous system. These side effects are particularly common as higher doses or combinations of numerous AED are used. As such there is a need for an alternative medication that is able to reduce the numbers of seizures whilst at the same time exhibiting a safe side effect profile.
[0049] Preferably the dose of CBD is greater than 5 mg/kg/day. Thus for a 15 kg patient a dose of greater than 75 mg of CBD per day would be provided. Doses greater than 5 mg/kg/day such as greater than 10/mg/kg/day, greater than 15 mg/kg/day, greater than 20 mg/kg/day and greater than 25 mg/kg/day are also envisaged to be effective.
[0050] Preferably the epilepsy is childhood epilepsy.
[0051] In accordance with a second aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of treating epilepsy comprising administering cannabidiol (CBD) to a subject, wherein the epilepsy is characterised by absence seizures.
[0052] Preferably the subject is a human, typically a patient that is suffering from epilepsy characterised by absence seizures.
[0053] In accordance with a third aspect of the present invention there is provided a composition for use in the treatment of epilepsy characterised by absence seizures comprising cannabidiol (CBD), a solvent, a co-solvent, a sweetener, and a flavouring.
[0054] Preferably the solvent is sesame oil, the co-solvent is ethanol, the sweetener is sucralose, the flavouring is strawberry flavour and the CBD is present at a concentration of between 25/mg/ml and 100 mg/ml, namely 50 mg/ml and 75 mg/ml.
[0055] More preferably the composition comprises cannabidiol (CBD) at a concentration of between 25 to 100 mg/ml, ethanol at a concentration of 79 mg/ml, sucralose at a concentration of 0.5 mg/ml, strawberry flavouring at a concentration of 0.2 mg/ml and sesame oil q.s. to 1.0 ml.
[0056] It is envisaged that the composition be administered as an oral liquid solution. Other modes of administration including solids, semi-solids, gels, sprays, aerosols, inhalers, vaporisers, enemas and suppositories are alternative administration forms. Such medicaments could be administered via the oral, buccal, sublingual, respiratory, nasal and distal rectum route.

DEFINITIONS

[0057] Definitions of some of the terms used to describe the invention are detailed below:
[0058] The cannabinoids described in the present application are listed below along with their standard abbreviations.
[00004] [TABLE-US-00004]
  TABLE 4
 
  Cannabinoids and their abbreviations
 
 
  CBD   Cannabidiol [see pdf for image]
 
  CBDA   Cannabidiolic acid [see pdf for image]
 
  CBDV   Cannabidivarin [see pdf for image]
 
  CBDVA   Cannabidivarinic acid [see pdf for image]
 
  THC   Tetrahydrocannabinol [see pdf for image]
 
[0059] The table above is not exhaustive and merely details the cannabinoids which are identified in the present application for reference. So far over 60 different cannabinoids have been identified and these cannabinoids can be split into different groups as follows: Phytocannabinoids; Endocannabinoids and Synthetic cannabinoids (which may be novel cannabinoids or synthetically produced phytocannabinoids or endocannabinoids).
[0060] “Phytocannabinoids” are cannabinoids that originate from nature and can be found in the cannabis plant. The phytocannabinoids can be isolated from plants to produce a highly purified extract or can be reproduced synthetically.
[0061] “Highly purified cannabinoid extracts” are defined as cannabinoids that have been extracted from the cannabis plant and purified to the extent that other cannabinoids and non-cannabinoid components that are co-extracted with the cannabinoids have been substantially removed, such that the highly purified cannabinoid is greater than or equal to 98% (w/w) pure.
[0062] “Synthetic cannabinoids” are compounds that have a cannabinoid or cannabinoid-like structure and are manufactured using chemical means rather than by the plant.
[0063] Phytocannabinoids can be obtained as either the neutral (decarboxylated form) or the carboxylic acid form depending on the method used to extract the cannabinoids. For example it is known that heating the carboxylic acid form will cause most of the carboxylic acid form to decarboxylate into the neutral form.
[0064] “Treatment-resistant epilepsy” (TRE) or “intractable epilepsy” is defined as per the ILAE guidance of 2009 as epilepsy that is not adequately controlled by trials of one or more AED.
[0065] “Childhood epilepsy” refers to the many different syndromes and genetic mutations that can occur to cause epilepsy in childhood. Examples of some of these are as follows: Dravet Syndrome; Myoclonic-Absence Epilepsy; Lennox-Gastaut syndrome; Generalized Epilepsy of unknown origin; CDKL5 mutation; Aicardi syndrome; bilateral polymicrogyria; Dup15q; SNAP25; and febrile infection related epilepsy syndrome (FIRES); benign rolandic epilepsy; juvenile myoclonic epilepsy; infantile spasm (West syndrome); and Landau-Kleffner syndrome. The list above is non-exhaustive as many different childhood epilepsies exist.
[0066] “Absence Seizures” are defined as a generalised type of epileptic seizure which causes a loss of awareness often accompanied by myoclonic jerks.
[0067] “Myoclonic Absence Seizures” are defined as a sub-type of absence seizures which present with bilateral myoclonic jerks of the arms and shoulders.
[0068] “Mixed seizures” are defined as the existence of both generalised and focal seizures in the same patient.
[0069] The terms “50% responder” and “50% reduction in seizure” are both terms used in clinical studies. In the present application the terms define the percentage of subjects that experienced a greater than or equal to 50% reduction in the number of seizures during treatment with CBD in comparison to the number experienced during the baseline period before the CBD was administered.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Preparation of Highly Purified Cbd Extract

[0070] The following describes the production of the highly-purified (>98% w/w) cannabidiol extract which has a known and constant composition which was used for the expanded access trials described in the Examples below.
[0071] In summary the drug substance used in the trials is a liquid carbon dioxide extract of high-CBD containing chemotypes of Cannabis sativa L. which had been further purified by a solvent crystallization method to yield CBD. The crystallisation process specifically removes other cannabinoids and plant components to yield greater than 98% CBD.
[0072] The Cannabis sativa L. plants are grown, harvested, and processed to produce a botanical extract (intermediate) and then purified by crystallization to yield the CBD (drug substance).
[0073] The plant starting material is referred to as Botanical Raw Material (BRM); the botanical extract is the intermediate; and the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) is CBD, the drug substance.
[0074] Both the botanical starting material and the botanical extract are controlled by specifications. The drug substance specification is described in Table 5 below.
[00005] [TABLE-US-00005]
  TABLE 5
 
  CBD Specification
  Test   Test Method   Limits
 
  Appearance   Visual   Off-white/pale yellow crystals
  Identification A   HPLC-UV   Retention time of major peak
      corresponds to certified CBD
      Reference Standard
  Identification B   GC-FID/MS   Retention time and mass
      spectrum of major peak
      corresponds to certified
      CBD Reference Standard
  Identification C   FT-IR   Conforms to reference spectrum
      for certified CBD Reference
      Standard
  Identification D   Melting   65-67° C.
    Point
  Identification E   Specific   Conforms with certified CBD
    Optical   Reference Standard; −110° to
    Rotation   −140° (in 95% ethanol)
  Total Purity   Calculation   ≧98.0%
  Chromatographic Purity   HPLC-UV   ≧98.0%
  1
  Chromatographic Purity   GC-FID/MS   ≧98.0%
  2
  Other Cannabinoids:   HPLC-UV
  CBDA     NMT 0.15% w/w
  CBDV     NMT 1.0% w/w
Δ9 THC     NMT 0.15% w/w
  CBD-C4     NMT 0.5% w/w
  Residual Solvents:   GC
  Alkane     NMT 0.5% w/w
  Ethanol     NMT 0.5% w/w
  Residual Water   Karl Fischer   NMT 1.0% w/w
 
  NMT—Not more than
[0075] The purity of the CBD drug substance achieved is greater than 98%. The other cannabinoids which may occur in the extract are: CBDA, CBDV, CBD-C4 and THC.
[0076] Distinct chemotypes of Cannabis sativa L. plant have been produced to maximize the output of the specific chemical constituents, the cannabinoids. One type of plant produces predominantly CBD. Only the (−)-trans isomer occurs naturally. Furthermore during purification the stereochemistry of CBD is not affected.

Production of the Intermediate

[0077] An overview of the steps to produce a botanical extract, the intermediate, are as follows:

1. Growing

2. Decarboxylation

[0078] 3. Extraction No. 1-using liquid CO2
4. Extraction No. 2-‘winterization’ using ethanol

5. Filtration

6. Evaporation

[0079] High CBD chemovars were grown, harvested and dried and stored in a dry room until required. The botanical raw material (BRM) was finely chopped using an Apex mill fitted with a 1 mm screen. The milled BRM was stored in a freezer for up to 3 months prior to extraction.
[0080] Decarboxylation of CBDA to CBD was carried out using a large Heraeus tray oven. The decarboxylation batch size in the Heraeus is approximately 15 Kg. Trays were placed in the oven and heated to 105° C.; the BRM took 96.25 minutes to reach 105° C. Held at 105° C. for 15 Minutes. Oven then set to 150° C.; the BRM took 75.7 minutes to reach 150° C.; BRM held at 150° C. for 130 Minutes. Total time in the oven was 380 Minutes, including 45 minutes cooling and 15 Minutes venting.
[0081] Extraction No 1 was performed using liquid CO2 at 60 bar/10° C. to produce botanical drug substance (BDS).
[0082] The crude CBD BDS was winterised in Extraction No 2 under standard conditions (2 volumes of ethanol at minus 20° C. for around 50 hours). The precipitated waxes were removed by filtration and the solvent evaporated using the rotary evaporator (water bath up to 60° C.) to yield the BDS, which was then used for crystallisation to produce the test material.

Production of the Drug Substance

[0083] The manufacturing steps to produce the drug substance from the intermediate botanical extract are as follows:
1. Crystallization using C5-C12 straight chain or branched alkane

2. Filtration

[0084] 3. Optional recrystallization from C5-C12 straight chain or branched alkane
4. Vacuum drying
[0085] Intermediate botanical extract (12 kg) produced using the methodology above was dispersed in C5-C12 straight chain or branched alkane (9000 ml, 0.75 vols) in a 30 litre stainless steel vessel.
[0086] The mixture was manually agitated to break up any lumps and the sealed container then placed in a freezer for approximately 48 hours.
[0087] The crystals were isolated by vacuum filtration, washed with aliquots of cold C5-C12 straight chain or branched alkane (total 12000 ml), and dried under a vacuum of <10 mb at a temperature of 60° C. until dry before submitting the drug substance for analysis.
[0088] The dried product was stored in a freezer at minus 20° C. in a pharmaceutical grade stainless steel container, with FDA food grade approved silicone seal and clamps.

Production of the Drug Product

[0089] The drug product is presented as an oral solution. The oral solution presentation contains 25 mg/ml or 100 mg/ml CBD, with the excipients sesame oil, ethanol, sweetener and flavouring. Two product strengths are available to allow dose titration across a wide dose range.
[0090] The 25 mg/ml solution is appropriate at lower doses and the 100 mg/ml solution at higher doses.
[0091] The drug product formulation is as described in Table 6 below:
[00006] [TABLE-US-00006]
  TABLE 6
 
  Drug Product specification
        Reference
    Qualitative     to Quality
  Component   Composition   Function   Standard
 
  Cannabidiol (CBD)   25 mg/ml or 100 mg/ml   Active   In-house
  Anhydrous ethanol   79.0 mg/ml*   Excipient   Ph. Eur.
  Sucralose   0.5 mg/ml   Sweetener   In-house
  Strawberry   0.2 mg/ml   Flavouring   In-house
  flavouring
  Sesame oil   q.s to 1.0 ml   Excipient   Ph. Eur.
 
[0092] The drug substance, CBD is insoluble in water. Sesame oil was selected as an excipient to solubilize the drug substance.
[0093] A sweetener and fruit flavouring are required to improve palatability of the sesame oil solution.
[0094] Ethanol was required to solubilize the sweetener and the flavouring.
[0095] The composition can be substantially equivalent, by which is meant the functional ingredients can vary from the qualitative composition specified in Table 6 by an amount of up to 10%.
[0096] Example 1 below describes the use of a highly purified cannabis extract comprising cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabidiol is the most abundant non-psychoactive cannabinoid in the selected chemovar. Previous studies in animals have demonstrated that CBD has anticonvulsant efficacy in multiple species and models.
[0097] Example 1 describes data produced in an expanded access treatment program in children with TRE.

Example 1

Efficacy of Cannabidiol Reducing Absence Seizures in Children and Young Adults with Intractable Epilepsy

Materials and Methods

[0098] Of 137 children and young adults with severe, childhood onset treatment-resistant epilepsy (TRE), forty-two suffered from epilepsy that was characterised by absence seizures. These subjects were tested with a highly purified extract of cannabidiol (CBD) obtained from a cannabis plant. All subjects presented with absence type seizures, often in addition to other generalised and/or focal seizures. The participants in the study were part of an expanded access compassionate use program for CBD.
[0099] The epileptic syndromes that these patients suffered from were as follows: Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome; Myoclonic Absence Epilepsy; Tuberous Sclerosis Complex; Dravet Syndrome; Doose Syndrome; Jeavons Syndrome; CDKL5; Dup15q; Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) and brain abnormalities.
[0100] Seizure types experienced by these patients included: tonic, clonic, tonic-clonic, myoclonic, atonic, absence, myoclonic-absence, focal seizures without impairment, focal seizures with impairment and focal seizures evolving to bilateral convulsive seizures.
[0101] All patients entered a baseline period of 4 weeks when parents/caregivers kept prospective seizure diaries, noting all countable seizure types.
[0102] The patients then received a highly purified CBD extract (greater than 98% CBD w/w) in sesame oil, of known and constant composition, at a dose of 5 mg/kg/day in addition to their baseline anti-epileptic drug (AED) regimen.
[0103] The daily dose was gradually increased by 2 to 5 mg/kg increments until intolerance occurred or a maximum dose of 25 mg/kg/day was achieved.
[0104] Patients were seen at regular intervals of 2-4 weeks. Laboratory testing for hematologic, liver, kidney function, and concomitant AED levels was performed at baseline, and after every 4 weeks of CBD therapy.
[0105] The patients on the study were all taking at least one concomitant AED. These included clobazam, clonazepam, clorazepate, desmethylclobazam, diazepam, ethosuximide, felbamate, gabapentin, ketogenic diet, lacosamide, lamotrigine, levetiracetam, lorazepam, midazolam, N-desmethylclobazam, nordiazepam, phenytoin, stiripentol, topiramate, trazodone, vagus nerve stimulation, valproic acid, vigabatrin, and zonisamide.

Results

[0106] Of the 42 children and young adult patients who received treatment with CBD, there were 28 patients who received treatment for at least 12 weeks of treatment all of whom suffered from absence type seizures.
[0107] A summary of the 50% responders, based on 12 weeks of treatment are summarized in Table 7 below.
[00007] [TABLE-US-00007]
  TABLE 7
 
  Summary of 50% responders after 12 weeks of treatment
    Absence seizures   Total seizures
    (n = 28)   (n = 137)
   
    >50% reduction in   64% (n = 18)   46% (n = 63)
    seizures
    <50% reduction in   36% (n = 10)   54% (n = 74)
    seizures
   
[0108] Table 7 shows that after 3 months of therapy, a remarkable 64% of patients had an equal to or greater than >50% reduction in absence seizures, these data infer that the CBD is very effective at reducing this type of seizure.

Conclusions

[0109] These data indicate that CBD significantly reduces the number of absence type seizures in a high proportion of patients that do not respond well to existing AED.
[0110] It was surprising that in this group of patients which are treatment-resistant such a high number were able to gain an effect. The fact that nearly two thirds of the patients (64%) benefitted from at least a fifty percent reduction in the number of absence seizures that they suffered from was remarkable.

Example 2

Efficacy of Cannabidiol Reducing Myoclonic Absence Seizures in Children and Young Adults with Intractable Epilepsy

Materials and Methods

[0111] Of 137 children and young adults with severe, childhood onset treatment-resistant epilepsy (TRE), ten suffered from epilepsy that was characterised by myoclonic absence seizures. These subjects were tested with a highly purified extract of cannabidiol (CBD) obtained from a cannabis plant. All subjects presented with myoclonic absence type seizures, often in addition to other generalised and/or focal seizures. The participants in the study were part of an expanded access compassionate use program for CBD.
[0112] The epileptic syndromes that these patients suffered from were as follows: Myoclonic Absence Epilepsy; Doose Syndrome; and epilepsy of unknown cause.
[0113] All patients entered a baseline period of 4 weeks when parents/caregivers kept prospective seizure diaries, noting all countable seizure types.
[0114] The patients then received a highly purified CBD extract (greater than 98% CBD w/w) in sesame oil, of known and constant composition, at a dose of 5 mg/kg/day in addition to their baseline anti-epileptic drug (AED) regimen.
[0115] The daily dose was gradually increased by 2 to 5 mg/kg increments until intolerance occurred or a maximum dose of 25 mg/kg/day was achieved.
[0116] Patients were seen at regular intervals of 2-4 weeks. Laboratory testing for hematologic, liver, kidney function, and concomitant AED levels was performed at baseline, and after every 4 weeks of CBD therapy.
[0117] The patients on the study were all taking at least one concomitant AED. These included clobazam, clonazepam, clorazepate, diazepam, ethosuximide, ketogenic diet, lacosamide, lamotrigine, levetiracetam, lorazepam, midazolam, and valproic acid.

Results

[0118] Of the 10 children and young adult patients who received treatment with CBD, there were 8 patients who received treatment for at least 12 weeks of treatment all of whom suffered from myoclonic absence type seizures.
[0119] A summary of the 50% responders, based on 12 weeks of treatment are summarized in Table 8 below.
[00008] [TABLE-US-00008]
  TABLE 8
 
  Summary of 50% responders after 12 weeks of treatment
    Myoclonic absence  
    seizures   Total seizures
    (n = 10)   (n = 137)
   
    >50% reduction in   75% (n = 6)   46% (n = 63)
    seizures
    <50% reduction in   25% (n = 2)   54% (n = 74)
    seizures
   
[0120] Table 8 shows that after 3 months of therapy, a remarkable 75% of patients had an equal to or greater than >50% reduction in absence seizures, these data infer that the CBD is very effective at reducing this type of seizure.

Conclusions

[0121] These data indicate that CBD significantly reduces the number of myoclonic absence seizures in a high proportion of patients that do not respond well to existing AED.
[0122] It was surprising that in this group of patients which are treatment-resistant such a high number were able to gain an effect. The fact that nearly three quarters of the patients (75%) benefitted from at least a fifty percent reduction in the number of myoclonic absence seizures that they suffered from was remarkable.

REFERENCES

[0123] Ames F R and Cridland S (1986). “Anticonvulsant effects of cannabidiol.” S Afr Med J 69:14.
[0124] Consroe P, Martin P, Eisenstein D. (1977). “Anticonvulsant drug antagonism of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol induced seizures in rabbits.” Res Commun Chem Pathol Pharmacol. 16:1-13
[0125] Consroe P, Benedicto M A, Leite J R, Carlini E A, Mechoulam R. (1982). “Effects of cannabidiol on behavioural seizures caused by convulsant drugs or current in mice.” Eur J Pharmaco. 83: 293-8
[0126] Cunha J M, Carlini E A, Pereira A E, Ramos O L, Pimental C, Gagliardi R et al. (1980). “Chronic administration of cannabidiol to healthy volunteers and epileptic patient.” Pharmacology. 21:175-85
[0127] Dravet C. The core Dravet syndrome phenotype. Epilepsia. 2011 April; 52 Suppl 2:3-9.
[0128] Eadie, M J (December 2012). “Shortcomings in the current treatment of epilepsy.” Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics 12 (12): 1419-27.
[0129] Kwan P, Arzimanoglou A, Berg A T, Brodie M J, Hauser W A, Mathern G, Moshé S L, Perucca E, Wiebe S, French J. (2009) “Definition of drug resistant epilepsy: Consensus proposal by the ad hoc Task Force of the ILAE Commission on Therapeutic Strategies.” Epilepsia.
[0130] Mechoulam R and Carlini E A (1978). “Toward drugs derived from cannabis.” Die naturwissenschaften 65:174-9.
[0131] Porter B E, Jacobson C (December 2013). “Report of a parent survey of cannabidiol-enriched cannabis use in paediatric treatment resistant epilepsy” Epilepsy Behaviour. 29(3) 574-7
[0132] Thurman, D J; Beghi, E; Begley, C E; Berg, A T; Buchhalter, J R; Ding, D; Hesdorffer, D C; Hauser, W A; Kazis, L; Kobau, R; Kroner, B; Labiner, D; Liow, K; Logroscino, G; Medina, M T; Newton, C R; Parko, K; Paschal, A; Preux, P M; Sander, J W; Selassie, A; Theodore, W; Tomson, T; Wiebe, S; ILAE Commission on, Epidemiology (September 2011). “Standards for epidemiologic studies and surveillance of epilepsy.” Epilepsia. 52 Suppl 7: 2-26
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Claim

1. A method of treating epilepsy comprising administering cannabidiol (CBD) to a subject, wherein the epilepsy is characterised by absence seizures.
2. The method according to claim 1, wherein the absence seizures are myoclonic absence seizures.
3. The method according to claim 1, wherein the epilepsy is treatment-resistant epilepsy (TRE).
4. The method according to claim 1, wherein the CBD is administered in combination with one or more concomitant anti-epileptic drugs (AED).
5. The method according to claim 1, wherein the absence seizures to be treated are in subjects diagnosed with: Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome; Myoclonic Absence Epilepsy; Tuberous Sclerosis Complex; Dravet Syndrome; Doose Syndrome; Jeavons Syndrome; CDKL5; Dup15q; Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) and brain abnormalities.
6. The method according to claim 5, wherein the subject is diagnosed with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome.
7. The method according to claim 5, wherein the subject is diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome.
8. The method according to claim 5, wherein the subject is diagnosed with Myoclonic Absence Epilepsy.
9. The method according to claim 1, wherein the CBD is a highly purified extract of cannabis which comprises at least 98% (w/w) CBD.
10. The method according to claim 9, wherein the extract comprises less than 0.15% THC.
11. The method according to claim 9, wherein the extract further comprises up to 1% CBDV.
12. The method according to claim 1, where in the CBD is present as a synthetic compound.
13. The method according to claim 4, wherein the one or more AED is selected from the group consisting of: clobazam, clonazepam, clorazepate, desmethylclobazam, diazepam, ethosuximide, felbamate, gabapentin, ketogenic diet, lacosamide, lamotrigine, levetiracetam, lorazepam, midazolam, N-desmethylclobazam, nordiazepam, phenytoin, stiripentol, topiramate, trazodone, vagus nerve stimulation, valproic acid, vigabatrin, and zonisamide.
14. The method according to claim 13, wherein the one or more AED is selected from the group consisting of: sodium valproate; lamotrigine; ethosuximide; clobazam; and clonazepam.
15. The method according to claim 4, wherein the number of different anti-epileptic drugs that are used in combination with the CBD is reduced.
16. The method according to claim 4, wherein the dose of anti-epileptic drugs that are used in combination with the CBD is reduced.
17. The method according to claim 1, wherein the dose of CBD is greater than 5 mg/kg/day.
18. The method according to claim 1, wherein the epilepsy is childhood epilepsy.
19. A method of treating epilepsy characterised by absence seizures comprising administering cannabidiol (CBD), a solvent, a co-solvent, a sweetener, and a flavouring to a subject.
20. The method according to claim 19, wherein the solvent is sesame oil.
21. The method according to claim 19, wherein the co-solvent is ethanol.
22. The method according to claim 19, wherein the sweetener is sucralose.
23. The method according to claim 19, wherein the flavouring is strawberry flavour.
24. The method according to claim 19, wherein the CBD is present at a concentration of between 25/mg/ml and 100 mg/ml.
25. The method according to claim 19, wherein cannabidiol (CBD) is administered at a concentration of between 25 to 100 mg/ml, ethanol at a concentration of 79 mg/ml, sucralose at a concentration of 0.5 mg/ml, strawberry flavouring at a concentration of 0.2 mg/ml and sesame q.s. to 1.0 ml.
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