Epilepsy is a common condition that affects the brain and causes frequent seizures; abnormal electrical activity in the brain that occurs suddenly and can temporarily affect how the brain functions. Epilepsy can start in any age, but usually either in childhood or in people over 60 years. In most cases, it is not clear why this happens. However, it may be caused by several factors including brain injury, infection or oxygen deprivation, scarring of brain tissue, brain tumours, and/or chemical/hormonal imbalances. In epilepsy there are two main types of seizures: generalised seizures which affect the whole brain and focal (or partial) seizures, which occur when the electrical disturbance in the brain is focussed in just one part of the brain. The symptoms associated with focal seizures depend on the part of the brain that is affected. The symptoms may vary from language and speech disturbances, having strange feelings, impaired consciousness, seeing patterns, and flashing lights or colours.
Cenobamate is a medicinal product that is being developed as a therapy for patients with partial focal epilepsy that would be taken in addition to other anti-epileptic medicine (adjunctive therapy). It is given as capsules. Cenobamate is considered a new generation antiepileptic therapy and clinical trials have shown that it may be more effective and safer than existing drugs. If licensed, cenobamate will offer a new adjunctive treatment option for patients with partial focal epilepsy.
BIIB092 is a product that is being investigated for the treatment of progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). PSP is a rare condition that is a result of destruction of nerve cells in certain parts of the brain causing problems with balance, movement, vision, speech and swallowing. In patients with PSP, an abnormal form of a protein called tau accumulates in specific areas of the brain by spreading from brain cell to brain cell leading to their damage. Over time, PSP gets progressively worse, with people becoming severely disabled within three to five years of onset. Currently, there is no cure for PSP and no treatment to slow down the disease.