ASX-listed MGC Pharmaceuticals (ASX: MXC) has announced its cannabis derived epilepsy product will now be fully covered by Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE).
CannEpil is a cannabidiol (CBD) based medication with a small amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) designed primarily for the treatment of people with refractory epilepsy; a severe condition that doesn’t respond to conventional medications. Refractory epilepsy affects approximately around a third of adults and up to 25% of children with epilepsy.
MGC Pharma notes CannEpil has also been prescribed for various other conditions including anxiety, chronic pain, PTSD and Parkinson’s Disease.
The company was authorised to make its CannEpil product available for supply in Australia under the Authorised Prescriber Scheme in 2018.
CannEpil is also one of only three products currently approved for use under Ireland’s Medical Cannabis Access Programme (MCAP) and will be available free of charge to patients under the Long‐ Term Illness Scheme, GMS (Medical Card) Scheme, and the Drugs Payment Scheme. The purchase of CannEpil will be reimbursed for treating or managing a wide range of conditions, not just refractory epilepsy.
“This is a key moment for MGC Pharma and for the Irish patients who can now receive cannabis‐based treatments covered by the National Health Insurance,” said MGC Co‐founder and Managing Director Roby Zomer. “With further clinical trials of CannEpil underway, we hope to be able increase the supply and availability of the medicine in the most affordable way to epilepsy sufferers globally in the near future.”
One of the clinical trials to commence soon is a study at the Schneider Hospital in Israel investigating the safety and efficacy of CannEpil as a supplementary treatment in children and adolescents with refractory epilepsy. The Phase IIb randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled trial is set to begin in the third quarter of this year and more than 100 patients will be recruited.
In other news from the company, it stated May delivered its best monthly revenue to date for MGC’s phytocannabinoid-derived medicines, with sales of more than A$360,000. And on a related note, another trial currently under way is a Phase II clinical trial of CogniCann at the University of Notre Dame in Perth. The trial is evaluating the potential behavioural benefits of the medicine on patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and is expected to run until Q4 2021.