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Medical cannabis researcher Zelda Therapeutics has dosed the first patient in a clinical trial testing medical cannabis in patients with chronic insomnia.

Which seems an odd thing to have to test because… well never mind.

Zelda (ASX:ZLD) is also attempting to treat autism, cancer, anxiety in pets and eczema.

The trial will see Zelda’s pharmaceutical-grade, medical cannabis formulation and a placebo delivered under the tongue in chronic insomnia patients.

Data to be analysed includes time taken to fall asleep, time spent awake vs asleep and quality of sleep, plus subjective feedback from the 24 participants.

It is being conducted at the University of Western Australia’s Centre for Sleep Science. Preliminary results are expected in the first six months of 2019.

Professor Peter Eastwood, the sleep clinic’s director, said it was a promising prospect for those who struggle with sleep.

“Should it be successful we see strong potential to provide a safe and effective medicine to patients with insomnia but also potentially for other sleep disorders,” he said.

Zelda boss Dr Richard Hopkins called the trial a major milestone as the drug developer worked on several clinical trials “we’re planning to commence over the coming months”.

Dr Hopkins was poached from dog cancer biotech PharmaAust (ASX:PAA) in May.

Zelda recently did a deal with former ASX tech wreck 1-Page. It promised that company’s subsidiary HAPA Medical the first rights to distribute or make for the German market any formulations the biotech finalises.

ZLD shares fluctuated between 7.3c and 7.6c on the news.

Zelda Therapeutics shares (ASX:ZLD) over the past year.