Experimental Tourette Syndrome Treatment Displays Potential in Trials So Far

According to a story from PR Newswire, the pharmaceutical company Therapix Biosciences recently announced the results of a Phase IIa study for its drug candidate THX-110. The therapy is indicated for the treatment of Tourette syndrome, and demonstrated significant improvements for adult patients in the study.
Tourette syndrome is a disorder that first occurs in childhood. It is characterized by at least one vocal tic and motor tics, or semi-voluntary movements or noises. The severity and occurrence of these tics tends to vary, and the patient can suppress them for brief periods of time. Patients report an unwanted sensation or tension in the affected muscles groups before the tics occur. Contrary to some misconceptions, the disorder does not affect intelligence or lifespan. Common tics are generally normal involuntary activities that happen with unusual emphasis or frequency, such as eye blinking, sniffing, throat clearing, or coughing. Tourette syndrome is also associated with the involuntary speaking of obscene phrases or words, but this occurs in very fews cases; generally, the tics tend to improve as the child ages, and extreme adulthood cases are rare. For most patients, the tics are so subtle that most observers do not notice them; many people with the syndrome are never diagnosed or treated. To learn more about Tourette syndrome, click here.

Therapix focuses on developing treatments derived from cannabinoids, substances derived from the cannabis plant; THX-110 is a unique combination of dronabinol and palmitoylethanolamide. Medical treatments for Tourette’s are few and far between, but in the most severe cases, medication is needed, and the treatments that are currently available are often lacking in safety and effectiveness. More trials will be conducted in order to further evaluate THX-110 and reinforce the data from the Phase IIa trial. In the study, the treatment resulted in a 21 percent decrease in the number of tics experiences by patients.

It is important to note that the patients were all adults, and adulthood Tourette syndrome is generally rare and more severe; of the 16 participants, 12 of them chose to continue a 24 week trial extension. The data suggests that cannabinoids could play a larger role in the future in treating not only Tourette syndrome, but other movement disorders as well.

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