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US approval for novel antiepileptic


Pharmaceutical giant UCB has announced that Vimpat (lacosamide) – a new antiepileptic drug (AED) – has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Vimpat is used as an add-on therapy for the treatment of partial-onset seizures in people with epilepsy aged 17 years and older.

Steven Chung, MD, Director of Clinical Epilepsy Research at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix said: “Having a new antiepileptic drug option may offer adults with partial-onset seizures the chance to obtain seizure control.

“There is still a need for new therapies to help patients achieve this goal. Vimpat is unique because it works unlike any other antiepileptic drug that is currently available.

“It should be considered for epilepsy patients who have uncontrolled seizures with their current treatment regimen – no matter how many previous antiepileptic drugs they’ve tried.”

Being a chronic neurological disorder, epilepsy affects approximately three million people in the US. Less than half will attain seizure control with their first AED, and more than 30% will continue to experience seizures despite trying two or more AEDs.

“At UCB, we are thrilled that Vimpat will be a new option for people with epilepsy in the US living with uncontrolled partial-onset seizures. Vimpat confirms our proven commitment to the epilepsy community,” said Roch Doliveux, CEO of UCB.

“The approval of Vimpat in the US demonstrates that we are continuing to deliver on our strategy to provide innovative medicine for patients who suffer from severe diseases.”

Preclinical studies indicate that Vimpat has a novel mechanism of action. The precise mechanism by which Vimpat exerts its antiepileptic effect in humans remains to be fully elucidated.

Vimpat will be available in the US as oral tablets and intravenous (IV) infusion and it should be launched in the US in early 2009 by the well-established UCB epilepsy team.


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