An open door at the end of a hospital hallway.

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Partners with Australian Biopharmaceutical Firm on Autism Study

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is partnering with Australian biopharmaceutical firm Zelda Therapeutics on an observational study into the effects of medical cannabis on autistic children, according to a Philadelphia Inquirer report. The study participants will already be covered under the Pennsylvania medical cannabis Safe Harbor provision.

“This is truly an observational study. We’re not giving them anything. We’re just gathering data to educate ourselves.” – Athena Zuppa, director of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Center for Clinical Pharmacology.

Zelda completed a similar observational study in Chile last year, and is set to begin trials on the effects of medical cannabis for patients suffering from chronic insomnia.

Zuppa indicated that one of the aims of the study is to determine what parents are giving their autistic children.

“We’re trying to understand the landscape of what the kids are taking. Some kids are taking only CBD and some are taking a mixture of CBD and THC. I’m trying to understand how parents make their choices.” – Zuppa.

The partnership was spearheaded by Erica Daniels, founder of Hope Grows for Autism, who said the study has “the potential to transform lives.”

Pennsylvania’s medical cannabis program is expected to roll out early next year.

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