A new study shows that patients with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome who are treated with Eisai’s antiepileptic agent Inovelon as adjunctive therapy experienced more than 40% fewer drop attacks than patients who received placebo.

In the 138-patient study, which was published in the journal Neurology, Inovelon (rufinamide) was found to produce a median reduction in seizure frequency of 42.5% for drop attacks, and reduce the occurrence of total seizures by 32.7%. It was noted that these differences between Inovelon and placebo were observed as early as week two of the study and results from the extension study suggested that for subjects continuing on the Eisai drug, seizure reduction appeared to be maintained in the long term, ie up to two years.

Lead study author Tracy Glauser, professor of paediatrics and neurology at Cincinnati Children's Hospital said that LGS is “a devastating form of paediatric epilepsy usually resulting in multiple seizures occurring several times a day, and is often associated with impaired mental development”. Existing antiepileptics offer only limited seizure control, she added, saying that there may be difficulties with tolerability.

Inovelon is the first treatment licensed by the European Medicines Agency specifically for LGS and approximately 11,000 people across the continent are currently diagnosed with the syndrome. The drug was discovered and developed by Swiss drug major Novartis, which licensed rights to Eisai in 2004. The compound is currently pending review with the US Food and Drug Administration.