Oral cannabidiol shows signs of treating GVHD

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Clinical trials of cannabis prove effective for treating graft-versus-host disease

Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) occurs in some patients following allogeneic stem cell transplantation, in which stem cells from a healthy donor are grafted into a patient to help increase the T-cell count and fight cancer. Of those that receive GVHD, as many as 70% can develop acute GVHD, which can affect the liver, the skin and the gastrointestinal tract. Fortunately, there may now be a solution for its prevention in the way of cannabidiol.

Kalytera Therapeutics has been running trials on an oral cannabidiol (CBD) solution that can counter the disease following bone marrow transplant. The tests recently passed through Phase 2 clinical trials using just a small group of subjects and the results were extremely positive. Out of the 12 patients who participated in the test, none shows signs of either severe (grade 3) or life-threatening (grade 4) acute GVHD.

One patient developed moderate, or grade 2, GVHD. Unfortunately, two patients passed away, but neither death was attributed to GVHD. Additionally, no safety signals were observed.

The next test will include 36 patients and is preparing to get underway. The results of the first patient are expected to be released by the end of February.

Kalytera is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company that is developing CBD for the treatment of serious or life-threatening diseases. It began searching for a solution to GVHD and is now also involved in trials designed to offer a cannabinoid solution for the treatment of chronic and acute pain.