A devastating form of childhood epilepsy that is resistant to traditional drugs may have met its match in spider venom. Researchers from The University of Queensland and the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health discovered that a peptide in spider venom can restore the neural deficiencies that trigger seizures associated with Dravet syndrome. UQ Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) Professor Glenn King said the study in mice could be an important step towards better therapeutic strategies for the rare and life-threatening type of epilepsy developed by children in their first year of life.
Zogenix has confirmed the efficacy of its experimental epilepsy drug in a second, late-stage clinical trial, paving the way for a marketing submission by the end of the year. The small biotech company, based in Emeryville, Calif., said its lead drug, ZX008, reduced by more than half the average monthly convulsive seizures compared with a placebo in children and teenagers with Dravet syndrome, a rare and severe type of epilepsy.
Dravet syndrome is a very rare type of epilepsy that causes frequent and severe seizures, often beginning in the first year of life. While there is currently no definitive cure for Dravet syndrome, there are treatments available to reduce the number of seizures that can help make the condition more manageable.
Cannabidiol is an effective and generally well-tolerated add-on treatment for drop seizures in patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, according to research published in The Lancet. “Patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a rare, severe form of epileptic encephalopathy, are frequently treatment resistant to available medications,” Elizabeth A. Thiele, MD, from the pediatric epilepsy program at Massachusetts General Hospital, and colleagues wrote. “No controlled studies have investigated the use of cannabidiol for patients with seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.”
A drug that has previously been used as a weight-loss agent dramatically reduces seizures in young patients with Dravet syndrome (DS), new research shows. A new phase 3 study showed that compared with patients taking placebo, those taking low-dose fenfluramine (ZX008, Zogenix) experienced a statistically significant reduction in convulsive seizure frequency. “The study showed a really significant and clinically meaningful decrease in seizure frequency. In about 70% of patients taking fenfluramine, the number of seizures per month went from about 40 to one or two per month,” lead author Lieven Lagae, MD, PhD, professor, University of Leuven, Belgium, head of the Pediatric Neurology Department, and director of the Childhood Epilepsy Program at the University of Leuv...
Several new Australian-developed medicines showing promise treating childhood epilepsy, stroke and autoimmune diseases have emerged from an unusual source: the fangs of venomous creatures. Big pharmaceutical companies are excited by results showing these new venom-drugs are often superior to man-made drugs, and they are starting to pour money into research.
Global survey of 584 caregivers of children, young adults and adults with Dravet illustrates the detrimental effect of debilitating, frequent seizures on quality of life and co-morbidities: Results suggest a need for more effective antiepileptic treatments. The Dravet Syndrome European Federation and Zogenix, Inc. (NASDAQ:ZGNX), a pharmaceutical company developing therapies for the treatment of rare central nervous system (CNS) disorders, announced today the publication of the initial results from a landmark survey into the clinical, social and economic consequences of Dravet syndrome on children, young adults and their families in Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology.
“In a recently conducted survey by the Dravet Syndrome Foundation, 74 percent of caregivers expressed concerns about the emotional impact on siblings of children with Dravet syndrome, and the interim results from the Sibling Voices Survey are a significant advancement in our understanding of the far-reaching implications that severe childhood epilepsies have on the lives of siblings and loved ones,” said Nicole Villas, President & Scientific Director of the Dravet Syndrome Foundation Board of Directors. “We are optimistic that the insights gained from the Sibling Voices Survey will assist in the development of tools to help families, and we are grateful for Zogenix’s dedication to addressing the unmet needs of this patient community.”
Zogenix, Inc., a pharmaceutical company developing therapies for the treatment of rare central nervous system (CNS) disorders, today reported positive top-line results from its first Phase 3 trial (Study 1) for its investigational drug, ZX008 (low-dose fenfluramine hydrochloride), for the treatment of Dravet syndrome. The trial met its primary objective of demonstrating that ZX008, at a dose of 0.8 mg/kg/day, is superior to placebo as adjunctive therapy in the treatment of Dravet syndrome in children and young adults based on change in the frequency of convulsive seizures between the 6-week baseline observation period and the 14-week treatment period (p<0.001). ZX008 0.8 mg/kg/day also demonstrated statistically significant improvements versus placebo in all key secondary measures, inc...