Zelda Therapeutics (ASX: ZLD) has teamed up with a US children’s hospital to kick-off its observational study on treating paediatric autism with its cannabinoid-based formulations.
The study is due to start in early 2018 at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and will investigate the impact of cannabinoids in people with autism.
As part of the collaboration, the trial will have access to the hospitals’ infrastructure and will comprise bioanalytical studies.
Patients undergoing cannabinoid treatment will have their dispositions monitored, in an attempt to identify the efficacy of different compounds.
This research builds on previous Chilean observational studies, which revealed positive results from its cannabinoid formulations.
The US collaboration is expected to lay the ground work for future clinical cannabinoid studies in the country and preliminary results are due by June 2018.
“Through this alliance, we have the potential to deliver very robust clinical trial data, which we hope opens up cannabinoids as a safe, effective and affordable treatment option for patients in need,” Zelda executive chairman Harry Karelis said.
In mid-September, Zelda reported cannabis extracts had been more effective than conventional treatments in more than 70% of the patients treated in the Chilean study. Additionally, the formulations improved at least one core symptoms in 66.7% of the trial participants.
Dr Gisela Kuester managed the Chilean trial which included 21 patients with an average age of 9 years and 10 months.
The study ran over a 12-week period and involved metabolic and genetics tests plus electroencephalogram (EEG) and neuropsychological analysis.
Zelda presented the results at the 23rd World Congress of Neurology in Japan.
This latest US collaboration, follows Zelda’s announcement that it intended to research the impact of medicinal cannabis in chronic insomnia sufferers.
On the other side of the world, in Western Australia, the insomnia trial is also due to begin in early 2018 at the state’s University of Western Australia sleep centre.
By mid-afternoon trade, Zelda’s shares were up slightly by 2.20% at A$0.093.