First Human Trial Completed for Experimental Scleroderma and Multiple Sclerosis Drug

According to a story from Financial Buzz, the drug developer Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals, Inc., recently announced that the company had completed a phase 1 clinical trial for its experimental drug candidate EHP-101. This was the first trial of the therapy using human subjects. EHP-101 is in development to treat scleroderma and multiple sclerosis. Emerald Health is focused on the development cannabinoid based medicines, and EHP-101 is an oral formulation derived from cannabidiol (CBD).

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a neurological disease which is characterized by damage to the myelin sheath, a fatty, insulating, protective covering that surrounds nerve cells and allows them to communicate effectively. Symptoms include blurred vision, double vision, blindness in one eye, numbness, abnormal sensations, pain, muscle weakness, muscle spasms, difficulty speaking and swallowing, mood instability, depression, loss of coordination, and fatigue. There are a number of treatments available for the disease, but no cure. To learn more about multiple sclerosis, click here.

About Scleroderma

Scleroderma, which is also referred to as systemic sclerosis, describes a group of autoimmune diseases that can cause system-wide effects in the most severe cases. Symptoms are broad ranging and systemic, including kidney failure, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, stroke, headaches, facial pain, congestive heart failure, skin abnormalities, high blood pressure, chest pain, indigestion, and many more. Treatments are varied and depend on the symptoms, but most patients take medications in an attempt to suppress the autoimmune response. To learn more about scleroderma, click here.

About The Trial

Phase 1 trials are mostly focused on testing the tolerability and safety characteristics of a drug and how it is processed in the human body. Typically, the participants are healthy human subjects as opposed to patients. The study included 104 volunteers in 8 single ascending dose and 4 multiple ascending dose cohorts. EHP-101 appeared to be well tolerated with only mild to moderate adverse effects appearing at the highest dose levels, which are most likely higher than would ever be used in patients.

Topline results from this trial are expected by the end of the year, and Emerald Health is also planning phase 2 trials of the drug for multiple sclerosis and scleroderma.

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