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Table of contents

And then on August 17, , we had a heated conversation with my dad. We were visiting him at his house in Wyoming, and he sat us down wanting to know what the next steps were with Sam. He was worried that the constant struggle was crushing our family. That was painful to hear, but it also gave Evelyn an idea. My dad was worried that the constant struggle was crushing our family. His firm, Warburg Pincus, had been doing business in London for 25 years. Eleven days later Geoffrey Guy wrote to Evelyn asking how he could help.

Doctors there can get promising medications for their patients from the manufacturer to be used under their direct responsibility.

1. Introduction

No regulatory approval is required as it is in the US. All other medicines had failed to help. We had a medicine that might help. Why on earth would that not be a good and wholesome thing to do? Would a public institution like UCSF, dependent on federal research grants, agree to oversee treatment with a quasi-legal drug? The FDA has a process for individuals to get approval to try unapproved drugs on a so-called compassionate-use basis.

The head of the DEA at the time, Michele Leonhart, took a hard line on cannabis, which to this day remains listed as a Schedule I drug, supposedly as dangerous and addictive as heroin. The magnitude of the undertaking was daunting, not to mention the cost. The only way she was going to be able to get behind it on our behalf was if we handled all the paperwork for her. We were dressed like we lived in California. Guy was dressed like an earlyth-century English banker. He wore a double-breasted suit, a white-collared blue shirt with French cuffs, and a yellow tie with blue polka dots.

Evelyn and I had been exchanging emails with him since the end of August Now, in early December, we were sitting down to discuss some last-minute details of our London trip. Cilio, an eminent Italian physician who had only joined the staff of UCSF the previous September, was jumping into the middle of an unfamiliar case.

We were meeting her for the first time too. We knew little about Guy at that point other than the essentials: He was a longtime biotech entrepreneur, and he had an experimental compound that, turned into a drug, might help Sam. He knew more about cannabis than almost any executive in the world. And in more than 30 years as a biotech CEO he had built a reputation as a maverick—someone attracted to the thorny, controversial pharmacological issues that most executives try to avoid. Guy had been thinking about starting a company to make medicines from cannabis since the early s.

Sam would be the first kid, and arguably the first person in more than 20 years, to try pharmaceutical-grade CBD as a treatment for epilepsy. Back then, UK regulators said they would never approve it. But by the middle of the decade, the British political landscape had shifted significantly. Politicians and activists were calling for partial legalization.

Onstage were top UK doctors and regulators wondering aloud what it would take for a company to make a cannabis pharmaceutical. Guy raised his hand and explained how he thought it could be done. By , GW was one of only a handful of firms in the world doing legal, drug-company-quality research on cannabis. It owned enormous hothouses containing thousands of cannabis plants in legal but undisclosed locations southeast of London. It had modern labs converting the plants into medicinal extracts and a factory that could turn them into sprays, tinctures, and pills.

Pure Genius

And it was manufacturing its first drug, Sativex, already approved for sale in the UK, Canada, and 22 other countries to treat MS. Four small studies between and had tried it on a total of about 40 people. Surely others had tried homemade concoctions. We hoped it would work for Sam and that many other patients like him would follow. The family had an interim plan. S ettling into London, Evelyn was almost afraid to believe how well the treatment seemed to be working.

And as she increased the dose of CBD from 50 mg a day to mg a day, his seizure count continued to fall. At first we said nothing to family or friends. I would say we are doing very well. And we can go higher on the dose if we like. Along with being nearly seizure-free, Sam is more mature, more relaxed, and funnier. No idea if that is a physiological effect or just a result of not having his train of thought interrupted all the time, but who cares … I love to see all that come out.

Our euphoria lasted only two weeks. We knew to expect this, but it was still excruciating. But no one knew for sure. They seemed to help Sam a bit, and the company was willing to send the pills through the mail. At the time it seemed better than putting Sam back on steroids. Sam wanted the story of his treatment to be told.

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They showed her their badges, asked permission to question her, and made it clear that this was not going to be a friendly conversation. Had I ever used illegal drugs? The questioning, which went on for two hours, got particularly tense when the agents asked Cilio how she planned to dispense the special drug. This is a Schedule I drug. You have to keep it in your office, and you have to give it to the patient in your office. You have to give it to the patient in your office. They took pictures of the furnishings in her office, including the cabinet she told them she was going to store the medicine in.

They told her she would need a safe. Setting up a site visit by agents is notoriously slow. Our application had been live for only about eight weeks. I had initially thought the agency would be satisfied with a cheap jewelry safe I could buy at the hardware store. I was wrong.

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But it never occurred to me that you could buy one. Would UCSF actually pay for something like this? It turns out that used safes are not hard to find. The author with his children, Sam and Beatrice. T he DEA approved our application on March Two consulting firms—one an expert in the workings of the FDA, the other an expert in the DEA—generated most of those expenses. Cilio had dozens of other patients to attend to besides Sam. And because she was new to the US, she had no idea how complicated and emotionally charged anything associated with cannabis can be here.

And they worked their contacts inside the agencies to make sure our application kept moving. And he immediately advanced our application to the next step. With terminal cancer patients, for example, oncologists know what new drugs are in development and have a mechanism already established to work with a company and quickly get FDA approvals. Yet GW was supplying drugs that were illegal in the US. No US hospital would take on a project like this. But it appears our enormous bill for helping Sam has also jump-started the development of what doctors tell us could be one of the most exciting new drugs to treat epilepsy in a generation.

Within a month of our return from London in early , Guy and GW started talking to epileptologists at four other US hospitals about doing studies with their sickest kids. The drug now has a name—Epidiolex—though for a day or two Guy talked about naming it after Sam. It has a fast-track designation from the FDA, meaning that it could be available at Walgreens inside of three years. Epidiolex is not a miracle cure. The most recent data, out in April, shows that of kids who tried it for 12 weeks, it helped about half, reducing their seizures by at least 50 percent, with 9 percent becoming seizure-free.

This is a better response rate than it sounds. All of the patients in the trials are those like Sam who had already run out of conventional options. This "cure" is ingested by Hannah, Volmer, and his staff in order to gain vastly lengthened lifespans. Lockhart also realizes that his leg isn't broken and that he is being forcefully kept prisoner there. Volmer then subjects Lockhart to nightmarish treatments that warp his mind until he believes he is insane.

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Hannah perceives this change and gives Lockhart back the ballerina figurine. This act helps to break him out of his delirium. Around this time, Hannah has her first menstruation, and Volmer marries her. During the reception, he leads Hannah to a secret room built in the ruins of the castle and begins to sexually assault her.

When Lockhart confronts Volmer he realizes that Volmer is the baron and Hannah is his daughter, the baby who was thrown into the well. They both had been aging very slowly due to the "cure". In the ensuing fight, Volmer's face is revealed to be a mask that hides his hideous burns.

Lockhart sets Volmer and the castle on fire but is overpowered by Volmer all the same. Hannah saves Lockhart by killing her father, who falls backwards into the aquifer and is eaten by the furiously voracious eels. Lockhart and Hannah escape from the premises on her bicycle as fire engulfs the structure. Not far down the road, Lockhart crashes into a car carrying his employers. They have arrived from New York to retrieve him and Pembroke. Lockhart tells his employers that Pembroke died.

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Lockhart is ordered into the car by the employers. Lockhart looks at Hannah and cannot abandon her. He chooses to ride away with Hannah, smiling as he finally escapes the asylum. Principal photography for the film began on June 22, [8] and took place mainly at Babelsberg Studio co-producer in Potsdam , Germany. The castle was closed to the public for filming from July 13 to July 24, The water tank scenes took two weeks to film.

DeHaan and the director communicated through an intercom , and DeHaan wore a buoyancy and body-positioning waist harness connected with wires and an oxygen tank. The directors used a rubber drill in the scene where Dr. Brennan, the facility's dentist, drills through Mr. Lockhart's healthy tooth without anesthesia. According to DeHaan, he was genuinely nervous and his reaction was used in the filming. In the car crash scene, DeHaan was placed into a harness inside a device described by Bryan Alexander of USA Today as being similar to a rotisserie before being tossed around.

DeHaan stated that he experienced his sole filming injury there, in which his arm was dislocated from and then relocated into the socket in its shoulder. The German actors used in the scene in which Lockhart is assaulted by elderly people had no prior experience in film acting. Alexander wrote that this scene "wasn't as torturous as it appears. The soundtrack album consists of the film's score plus a stripped down version of a Ramones song " I Wanna be Sedated " which is performed by Mirel Wagner.

It subsequently received a theatrical release in the United States on February 17, , by 20th Century Fox , after initially being slated for a September 23, release date. In the United States, 20th Century Fox premiered a second exclusive commercial during the 51st Super Bowl on February 5, , which resembled a medication advertisement.

But it turned out you were watching a trailer for a new supernatural horror film. Two days before the film's U. In its third week of release the film was pulled from A Cure for Wellness received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for its visuals, performances and ambition, but criticism for its length, plot and structure. The site's critical consensus reads, " A Cure for Wellness boasts a surfeit of visual style, but it's wasted on a derivative and predictable story whose twists, turns, and frights have all been more effectively dealt before.

You admire his devotion, his taste and his scholarship, but in the end the experience is probably more satisfying for him than it is for you. The New Republic ' s Josephine Livingstone criticized the film's conclusion: "The poor ending is a great shame. For Verbinski calls upon a great pantheon of stories in order to talk about daddy issues, yes, but more importantly to talk about capitalism.

In the movie, two strains of moneymaking compete. Financial services go up against the wellness industry in a fully binaristic duel: city versus mountaintop, suit versus white coat, aggression versus docility. And the first half of the film nicely creates a squirmy, elegant tension. Writing for TheWrap , Alonso Duralde praised the film's production design but criticized its narrative, saying: "While the movie is about people who are happy to remain removed from the world, not realizing that they are involved in something truly dreadful, many viewers will be all too willing to head for the exits.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. A Cure for Wellness Theatrical release poster. Plot Keywords.

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