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.
Fenfluramine belongs to a class of drugs called the selective serotonin releasing agonists which stimulates multiple 5-HT receptor sub-types through the release of serotonin. Fenfluramine may also act on other receptors and these actions may help to reduce the frequency of seizures. When added to other standard anti-epileptic treatments, fenfluramine hydrochloride has shown preliminary evidence of reducing seizure frequency. If licensed, fenfluramine hydrochloride may offer an additional treatment option for patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.