UCB’s flagship epilepsy drug Keppra has been approved in Europe as monotherapy for newly diagnosed epilepsy patients in with partial onset seizures, adding to a string of new indications for the product.

Since the start of the year, UCB has won approvals in the USA and Europe for an intravenous formulation of Keppra that should expand its use into emergency-room settings, as well as EU clearance of the drug in juvenile myoclonic epilepsy.

“'The monotherapy approval is a major milestone for Keppra and for UCB,” said Troy Cox, president of CNS operations at the Belgian company.

The new approval should add to the already-considerable momentum behind the product. UCB reported Keppra sales of 365 million euros in the first half of 2006, a rise of 42% that puts it in sight of surpassing antihistamine Zyrtec (cetirizine) as the firm's top product.