The Ananda company is launching a clinical trial to use Nantheia ATL5, a drug high in CBD, to treat people addicted to opioids. Colorado-based biotech just got the green light from Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the highest American health authority. This clinical trial will be conducted by California University UCLA.
Nantheia ATL5 is a capsule that contains 100mg of CBD. It would serve as a substitute for opioids to treat chronic pain. If this clinical trial is conclusive, this drug could then join Epidiolex. To date, GW Pharma’s liquid solution is the only authorized CBD drug, both in the United States and in the European Union.
“The authorization to conduct a clinical trial further strengthens our goal of developing CBD as a therapy for several diseases”, welcomes Sohail Zaidi, CEO of Ananda. For her part, psychiatrist Edith London, who will lead the trial, welcomes a “Key step in finding a solution to the opioid crisis”.
Opioids kill 50,000 people a year in the United States
The situation is indeed particularly serious. This class of drugs – like Fentanyl or Oxycodone – mimics the effects of opium. These capsules are primarily useful for treating pain. Except that they are particularly addictive, and deadly in high doses. Result: 50,000 deaths per year. President Donald Trump therefore declared a public health emergency in 2017.
Logically, the FDA has a lot of hope in Nantheia ATL5. In this drug candidate, the high-dose CBD could soothe the pain. As we know, the molecule is particularly interesting for its anti-inflammatory side, without being psychoactive. It would therefore mimic the analgesic effect of Fentanyl or Oxycodone, without risking an overdose. While high-dose CBD can be dangerous for the liver, it is nothing like the opioid disaster.
Proof of the enthusiasm: the clinical trial will be fully funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). This American public agency fights precisely against dependence on hard drugs, such as opioids. This funding is part of the $ 3 million released by the US government to use cannabis as a substitute for opioids.