Eisai Europe Ltd has reported the UK launch of its anticonvulsant Inovelon

for the treatment of patients with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy affecting between one and five in every 100 children with the condition.

The novel drug, which works by preventing brain cells from going into overdrive before a seizure takes place, is the first to win European approval specifically for LGS, and is indicated as an adjunctive therapy in the treatment of seizures associated with the condition in patients four years and older, the firm said.

Approval was based on the results of a clinical trial that showed treating patients with Inovelon (rufinamide) induced a significant reduction in tonic (stiffening of the body, upward deviation of the eyes, dilation of the pupils, and altered respiratory patterns) and atonic (brief loss of muscle tone and consciousness, causing abrupt falls) seizure frequency compared to a placebo.

The drug was discovered and developed by Swiss drug major Novartis, which licensed rights to Eisai in 2004.