New study shows sustained benefits of epilepsy drug perampanel

Perampanel, an approved therapy for epilepsy, has been shown to offer long-term treatment benefits in a new three-year safety study.

Published in the medical journal Epilepsia, the 307 extension study demonstrated the efficacy of the drug among 1,216 adolescents and adults with partial onset seizures, all of whom had failed to be effectively treated with three or more other antiepileptic drugs.

It was shown that perampanel was able to provide stable reductions in seizure frequency over treatment periods of up to three years, with up to 90 per cent of patients achieving a reduction in secondarily generalised seizures and five per cent of subjects attaining seizure freedom lasting at least one year.

Safety and seizure responses were similar across a large number of geographical regions and ethnicities, with high treatment retention consistent throughout, suggesting the drug is generally well-tolerated.

Professor Bernhard Steinhoff from Germany’s Epilepsiezentrum Kork, said: “The 307 study data provides evidence of the sustained seizure control and freedom that long-term perampanel use can provide to people with epilepsy, regardless of where they live in the world.

“They also confirm the safety and tolerability of the therapy as seen in earlier clinical trials, but over longer treatment periods, thereby adding to the growing weight of evidence supporting use of this first-in-class medication.”

Perampanel is sold under the brand name Fycompa and manufactured by the Japanese pharmaceutical company Eisai, which is also responsible for producing therapies such as Inovelon, Zebinix and Zonegran.

Manufactured in the UK, the drug functions by selectively targeting AMPA receptors, a protein in the brain that plays a critical role in the spread of seizures. This is a different mode of action from many other antiepileptic drugs, meaning it can often be effective where other therapies have failed.

It has been approved in Europe since 2012 and is administered via a once-daily dosing regimen at bedtime, a method of use that offers various convenience benefits.

Posted by Bob Jones

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