Testing Pot Drug to Treat Tourette Syndrome, Israeli Firm Gets Positive Results

People with the syndrome experience sudden repetitive body movements, called tics, and uncontrolled profane swearing outbursts. (File image via Reuters)

Therapix Biosciences Ltd., an Israeli company, announced on Monday that it has completed – phase two – clinical trial of a cannabis-based medication to treat Tourette Syndrome at Yale University.

After reporting positive clinical trial results, Therapix Biosciences is now launching a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the drug, the Tel Aviv-based company’s Chief Technology Officer Adi Zuloff-Shani said in a statement.

Affecting 1 in every 360 children, Tourette is a neurological disorder that is usually diagnosed in early childhood, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Symptoms tend to be severe in about 10 to 15 percent of those affected with the syndromes, enlisting the sufferers in the disability category.

Antipsychotics are the most common medical treatment, but they are not effective and tend to have uneasy side effects.

Participants Saw Improvement

The 12-week trial at Yale University enrolled 16 adult participants, where 21 percent of them – on average – experienced tic reduction.

People with the syndrome experience sudden repetitive body movements, called tics, and uncontrolled profane swearing outbursts.

Six of the participants experienced an improvement of over 25 percent, and 12 others volunteered to continue into a 24-week extension phase.

Chairman and interim CEO of Therapix Biosciences Ascher Shmulewitz said the results so far have “demonstrated” and “further reinforced the potential role of cannabinoids in the field of central nervous system and movement disorders.”

Complete results from this study will be presented at the 2018 European Society for the Study of Tourette syndrome meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark.  

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