Start of Carly’s Law study could be in sight

Dustin Chandler, right, with chair of the UAB Neurology Department Dr. David Standaert, left. UAB is preparing to study CBD oil, as provided for by Carly's Law. (Contributed)

Dustin Chandler, right, with chair of the UAB Neurology Department Dr. David Standaert, left. UAB is preparing to study CBD oil, as provided for by Carly’s Law. (Contributed)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—A University of Alabama at Birmingham study into the medical possibilities of cannabidiol, or CBD oil, is on track to start this fall, UAB confirmed.

The study was made possible by the April 1 passage of Carly’s Law, which allotted $1 million for the clinical study of CBD oil, derived from the cannabis plant, for the treatment of severe seizure disorders in those for whom other treatments have failed.

“I’ve expressed to the team of doctors how important it is that we start this as soon as possible, and they’re completely on the same page,” Pelham Police Officer and driving force behind the passage of Carly’s Law, Dustin Chandler said.

Chandler’s daughter Carly suffers from the rare neurological condition CDKL5, which causes severe seizures, sometimes as many as 10 per day. There is no known cure for CDKL5, but CBD oil could provide Carly relief from her symptoms.

Doctors at UAB have been working to design an “observational study,” UAB’s Dr. Jerzy Szaflarski confirmed in late April after the passage of Carly’s Law. Individuals, both adults and children, must meet specific qualifications in order to participate in the study, and all admitted to the study will receive CBD oil treatment.

“It’ll be very tightly monitored,” Chandler said, noting participants will receive treatment at UAB from a UAB doctor.

According to the university, before the study can begin and treatment can be dispensed, UAB doctors have regulatory procedures and standards that must be met.

The study and CBD oil must be approved by the FDA, DEA and IRB before it can begin, and no concrete start date has been announced, however UAB confirmed the study is still on track to start in the fall.

“I’m pretty confident they’re going to get it done,” Chandler said. “That’s encouraging to me… They seem pretty confident on their start date.”