MGC Pharmaceuticals Ltd (LSE:MXC, OTC:MGCLF, ASX:MXC) has passed a significant milestone, delivering the first doses of its CannEpil® units to patients in the United Kingdom, paving the way for the treatment of refractory epilepsy, an unmet need in the country.
CannEpil, a high-CBD, low-THC formulation delivered by an oral mucosal solution, is part of the company’s clinical development program for patients suffering from refractory epilepsy, also known as drug-resistant epilepsy.
The formulation would now be available for prescription by doctors listed on the General Medical Council (GMC) specialist register across the UK, with the first patient prescribed via the named patient request program, “breaking the glass ceiling” for such products in the country.
Huge unmet need
MGC managing director and CEO Roby Zomer said: “The fulfilment of the first UK patient to receive CannEpil® by undergoing the RESCAS process demonstrates the commitment of MGC Pharma to improve patient access to effective epilepsy treatment.
“We know there is a huge unmet need for epilepsy treatment, and we are pleased to be partnering with the ‘I AM Billy Foundation’ on this important work.
“With our combined knowledge, expertise and capabilities, our aim is to facilitate patient access to the highest-quality cannabis-based medicinal products for patients with this huge unmet need.
“Additionally, with CannEpil® being prescribed via Named Patient Request for the first time, MGC Pharma is making significant progress in its mission to widen access to effective refractory epilepsy treatment and breaking the glass ceiling of such products to support unmet medical needs in the United Kingdom and Ireland, with other key territories hopefully to shortly follow this lead.”
CannEpil has previously demonstrated its safety in a study conducted in Australia, which indicated that it did not impair post-treatment driving activities.
As of 2019, the medication is also available for distribution and prescription in Ireland under government health insurance coverage.
The ‘I AM Billy Foundation’, spearheaded by Charlotte Caldwell, has been at the forefront of legislative changes related to medical cannabis in the UK. Caldwell’s son, Billy, was granted the first NHS prescription for medical cannabis in 2018 after his medication, imported from Canada, was confiscated at Heathrow Airport.
The foundation is currently the sole channel in the UK for patients to receive public funding for cannabis-based refractory epilepsy treatments.