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Zogenix to submit anti-seizure drug (for Dravet) for approval after clinical trial confirms benefit

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.

Treatments for Dravet Syndrome

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.

Orphan Drug Designation From the U.S. FDA for EPX-100 and EPX-200 in the Treatment of Patients With Dravet Syndrome

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted Orphan Drug Designation to EPX-100 and EPX-200 for the treatment of patients with Dravet syndrome. Dravet Syndrome qualifies as a rare pediatric disease under Section 529 of Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The rare, catastrophic, lifelong form of epilepsy begins in the first year of life with frequent or prolonged seizures. Intellectual disability, behavioral abnormalities, gait and motor dysfunction, and increased mortality are commonly observed as the disease progresses. Patients with Dravet Syndrome also suffer with life-threatening seizures that cannot be adequately controlled by available medications, and face a 15-20 percent mortality rate due to SUDEP (Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy), seizure-related accidents such as drowning, o...

CBD FOR EPILEPSY: To be available in Florida NEXT WEEK!

After 2 years of delays, appeals and uncertainty about availability, high-CBD, low-THC Medical Cannabis grown in Florida will finally be available next week to patients with prescriptions. Trulieve, located in Tallahassee, Florida, have announced that they have received the first formal authorization from the Florida DOH (Department of Health) to commence sales and dispensary of medicinal cannabis products. These CBD products are approved for persons with uncontrollable seizures and cancer and possibly other conditions. Children with Dravet syndrome and intractable and other hard-to-treat types of Epilepsy are expected to be greatly helped by the availability of high-CBD cannabis derived medicine. For more information check out Orlando Weekly, Miami Herald, or Orlando Sentinel and many oth...

Utah lawmaker will help moms import cannabis extract

A strain of medical marijuana low in THC has stopped seizures in children with severe epilepsy. Every week a tutor comes to April Sintz’s home to teach 7-year-old Isaac his letters. Developmentally delayed due to a rare seizure disorder, he is able to grasp the shapes and sounds but soon forgets them. “It’s one step forward and two steps back,” said Sintz, who hasn’t lost hope that Isaac will one day read. Nor has she given up her pursuit of an “herbal” treatment — available only from a medical marijuana dispensary in Colorado — that has worked miracles for some children with severe, intractable forms of epilepsy. Sintz is a member of Hope 4 Children With Epilepsy, a group of Mormon moms in Utah that has now found a lawmaker willing to help them secure a way to lega...

BREAKTHROUGH: Researchers discover potential epilepsy drug using zebrafish

An antihistamine used to treat itching may be the key to preventing seizures in children with a rare, yet severe form of epilepsy known as Dravet Syndrome. The discovery was made by screening hundreds of government-approved drugs in animals with the same genetic mutation as children with the disorder.  But instead of using rodents – the typical animal model for drug screenings – researchers used an unlikely test subject for their experiment: zebrafish. According to the researchers, the antihistamine known as clemizole could be the first line approach for reducing the effects of Dravet Syndrome – a condition with very limited treatment options. “Dravet Syndrome is a catastrophic form of childhood epilepsy, and it often leads to severe symptoms and death,” Scott Baraban, a professor of neuro...

Medical Marijuana Delays in NJ Agonizing to Parents of Child with Dravet

A 2-year-old with a bouncy pigtail and colorful eye patch may be the youngest patient to obtain a medical-marijuana card in New Jersey. Children in the state who suffer serious ailments can legally use marijuana, but an array of prohibitive regulations and the drug’s stigma may prevent little Vivian “Vivie” Wilson and others from getting their medicine anytime soon. Her parents, Meghan and Brian, of Scotch Plains, had to push hard to get their tot approved to take a drug most other parents don’t ever want their children to try. Vivie suffers from Dravet syndrome, a rare, severe form of epilepsy that led to 20 hospital stays and caused convulsions lasting up to an hour. Because of privacy concerns, the state Health Department won’t say how many other children h...

Testing for the SCN1A Gene Mutation

In the April 15, 2013 early view issue of the journal Epilepsia, Doctors Hirose and colleagues from the Genetics Commission of the International League Against Epilepsy present an important, clinically applicable practice guideline with regards to SCN1A testing for epilepsy. SCN1A is a gene that encodes for the alpha 1 subunit of neuronal voltage-gated sodium channels. Mutations in this gene are found in Dravet Syndrome febrile seizures plus (GEFS+), migrating partial seizures of infancy, and other infantile epileptic encephalopathies, and rarely in infantile spasms.

Causative Gene May Differ Among Patients With Dravet Syndrome

Dravet syndrome is a severe genetic epilepsy that appears early in life. About 75 percent of cases can be attributed to mutations in the SCN1A gene encoding the sodium channel NaV1.1. The remaining patients with this syndrome are without a definitive molecular genetic diagnosis. Research presented today at the American Epilepsy Society’s 65th Annual Meeting has found a non-SCN1A candidate gene and suggests that Dravet syndrome may be caused by any one of a number of yet unidentified genes. In order to identify novel candidate genes for Dravet syndrome, investigators from the University of Washington selectively sequenced the protein coding regions of all genes from six non-SCN1A patients. (Platform C.03) Their analysis revealed an unexpected, and previously unidentified de novo SCN1A...