HATFIELD, England, May 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Eisai also receives CHMP recommendation for EU approval of Fycompa(R)(perampanel)
Eisai announced today that the European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has issued a positive opinion for extending the use of once-daily Zonegran(R) (zonisamide) as monotherapy for the treatment of partial seizures (with or without secondary generalisation) in adults with newly diagnosed epilepsy.
Zonisamide is a second generation anti-epileptic drug (AED) with multiple mechanisms of action and a chemical structure which is unrelated to any other AEDs. For patients with newly diagnosed epilepsy, monotherapy is the preferred option for managing their condition as this reduces the potential for adverse drug interactions.
In addition to the CHMP recommendation for the use of zonisamide as a monotherapy, Eisai received a positive CHMP opinion for Fycompa (perampanel) as an adjunctive treatment of partial-onset seizures, with or without secondary generalisation, in patients with epilepsy aged 12 years and older. Perampanel is a first-in-class, highly selective, non-competitive AMPA receptor antagonist. Based on today's recommendation, EU approvals of the therapies are anticipated within three months.
There are an estimated six million people living with epilepsy in Europe and an estimated 50 million people worldwide. The successful treatment of partial-onset seizures (the most common type of epilepsy) remains a challenge in some patients. The incidence of refractory epilepsy remains high despite many new AEDs and between 20 - 40% of patients with newly diagnosed epilepsy will become refractory to treatment.
"The CHMP positive opinion for the license extension for Zonegran (zonisamide) monotherapy further illustrates Eisai's commitment to bringing new therapeutic options to patients with epilepsy," said Dr Bettina Bauer, Head of EMEA Epilepsy Business Unit, Eisai Europe; "Zonisamide is already a successful add-on therapy for patients. The monotherapy indication offers a new treatment option for newly diagnosed patients with epilepsy to help improve their seizure control".
Commenting on the CHMP positive opinion, Michel Baulac, Head of the clinical department at the Hospital de la Pitie-Salpetriere, Paris, France said; "Less than 50% of our patients have their seizures controlled by their first AED, and only a further 10 - 12 % will achieve seizure-freedom from alternative drugs given as monotherapies. It is therefore important to develop new options to expand the clinician's treatment armamentarium to help control the patient's condition." He added; "Monotherapy remains the optimal approach for managing patients with epilepsy. In addition to a good tolerability profile and to the absence of interaction with other drugs, in particular with oral contraceptives, zonisamide offers the added-value of a once-daily dosing."
The efficacy and safety of zonisamide as monotherapy has been demonstrated in a double-blind, randomised, multicentre study of 583 adult newly diagnosed partial epilepsy patients, which compared the efficacy and safety of once-daily zonisamide with twice-daily controlled release carbamazepine as monotherapy. The study's primary endpoint was the proportion of seizure-free patients at six months. Zonisamide demonstrated high response rates for achieving seizure freedom in newly diagnosed patients with epilepsy, similar to controlled release carbamazepine. In the majority of patients, seizure freedom was achieved at the target dose of 300 mg. Zonisamide was well tolerated and no apparent safety concerns of one year treatment with zonisamide at doses ranging from 300 to 500 mg/day were identified.
The development of zonisamide and perampanel underscores Eisai's human health care mission, the company's commitment to innovative solutions in disease prevention, cure and care for the health and well being of people worldwide. Eisai is committed to the therapeutic area of epilepsy and addressing the unmet medical needs of patients with epilepsy and their families. Eisai is proud to currently market more epilepsy products in EMEA than any other company.
About Zonegran (zonisamide)
Zonisamide is licensed in Europe as adjunctive therapy in the treatment of partial seizures (with or without generalisation) in adults with epilepsy. It has a broad spectrum of anti-epileptic modes of action and has no appreciable effects on steady-state plasma concentrations of other AEDs, such as phenytoin, carbamazepine and valproate.
Zonisamide is available in 25mg, 50mg, and 100mg capsule strengths. The recommended initial daily dose for adjunctive use is 50mg in two divided doses. After one week the dose may be increased to 100 mg daily and thereafter the dose may be increased at weekly intervals, in increments of up to 100 mg.
Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological conditions in the world, affecting approximately eight in 1,000 people in Europe. There are an estimated six million people living with epilepsy in Europe, and an estimated 50 million people with the condition worldwide. Epilepsy is a chronic disorder of the brain that affects people of all ages. It is characterised by abnormal discharges of neuronal activity causing seizures. Seizures can vary in severity, from brief lapses of attention or jerking of muscles, to severe and prolonged convulsions. Depending on the seizure type, seizures may be limited to one part of the body, or may involve the whole body. Seizures can also vary in frequency from less than one per year, to several per day. Epilepsy has many possible causes but often the cause is unknown.
About Eisai Europe in Epilepsy
Eisai is committed to developing and delivering highly beneficial new treatments to help improve the lives of people with epilepsy. The development of AEDs is a major strategic area for Eisai in the European market.
In Europe, Eisai currently has three marketed treatments including:
- Zonegran(R) (zonisamide) as adjunctive therapy in adult patients with partial-onset seizures, with or without secondary generalisation. (Zonegran is under license from the originator Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma) - Zebinix(R) (eslicarbazepine acetate) as adjunctive therapy in adult patients with partial-onset seizures, with or without secondary generalisation - Inovelon(R) (rufinamide) for the adjunctive treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome in patients >4 years
Eisai is one of the world's leading R&D-based pharmaceutical companies and has defined its corporate mission as "giving first thought to patients and their families and to increasing the benefits health care provides," which we call human health care (hhc). Eisai recently expanded their UK Hatfield facility which now supports the company's growing European, Middle Eastern and African (EMEA) business.
Eisai concentrates its R&D activities in three key areas:
- Neuroscience, including: Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, neuropathic pain, epilepsy, depression - Oncology including: anticancer therapies; tumour regression, tumour suppression, antibodies, etc and supportive cancer therapies; pain relief, nausea - Vascular/Immunological reaction including: acute coronary syndrome, atherothrombotic disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, Crohn's disease
With operations in the U.S., Asia, Europe and its domestic home market of Japan, Eisai employs more than 11,000 people worldwide. In Europe, Eisai undertakes sales and marketing operations in over 20 markets, including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Ireland, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Portugal, Iceland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Netherlands, and Belgium.
For further information please visit our web site http://www.eisai.com
1. Eisai Ltd. (2005). Zonegran Summary of Product Characteristics http://emc.medicines.org.uk ]
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3. ILAE/IBE/WHO, Epilepsy in the WHO European Region: Fostering Epilepsy Care in Europe 2010. Available from; http://www.ilae-epilepsy.org/Visitors/Documents/EUROReport160510.pdf (Accessed June 2011)
4. Epilepsy Society UK: http://www.epilepsysociety.org.uk/AboutEpilepsy/Whatisepilepsy/Epilepsy-didyouknow (Accessed June 2011)
5. French JA. Refractory Epilepsy; Clinical Overview. Epilepsia 2007: 48 (Suppl1) 3 - 7
6. Baulac, M. Brodie, M. Comparison of zonisamide and carbamazepine monotherapy in adults with newly diagnosed partial epilepsy: preliminary results of a phase III, randomised, double-blind, non-inferiority trial. p869 Abstract #913 Presented at 29th International Epilepsy Congress (IEC)
7. Pugliatti M et al. Estimating the cost of epilepsy in Europe: A review with economic modeling. Epilepsia 2007: 48(12) 2224 - 2233.
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