Eisai Europe has launched a child-friendly drinkable medicine to treat seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS), a rare form of epilepsy.
Inovelon (rufinamide) is indicated as an adjunctive therapy for seizures caused by Lennox-Gastaut syndrome in patients aged four and older.
The orange-flavoured liquid formulation is designed to aid treatment in children whose condition means they have difficulty in swallowing tablets.
LGS affects up to three in every 10,000 children in Europe, accounting for 10% of childhood epilepsy cases.
Medication compliance is crucial to LGS management, as the disease causes frequent seizures associated with mental retardation and regression.
Inovelon, which regulates electrical charges in the brain, was approved in tablet form for LGS treatment in 2007. The drinkable version gained EMA approval in November 2011.
The UK and the Netherlands follow Germany in the European launch of the liquid Inovelon, with other EU countries to follow this year.
Helen Cross, Head of Neuroscience Unit at the UCL Institute of Child Health, London, commented: “Many children (and in fact adults), particularly those with complex epilepsy and associated neurodevelopmental problems such as LGS, experience difficulties with swallowing tablets. A suspension formulation of new and targeted medication is always welcome therefore to widen the availability to the full population of affected individuals.”
“The availability of the oral suspension formulation will hopefully make treatment easier for children and young people with LGS,” said Mike Bee, Eisai Europe’s Epilepsy Business Unit Director for EU North. “Our efforts are now focused to ensure that this new formulation is made available at centres throughout the UK as soon as possible.”
The development of anti-epileptic drugs is a major strategic focus for Eisai in the European market, Inovelon being one of three medications it currently sells in this therapy area.