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.
Sarizotan is an oral medicinal product that is being developed for the treatment of respiratory symptoms associated with Rett syndrome. Sarizotan works by binding to serotonin and dopamine receptors. By stimulating serotonin and dopamine receptors, sarizotan replaces the effect of some of the missing serotonin in the brain and spinal cord. This is expected to help restore normal breathing rhythm in patients with Rett syndrome. Currently, there is no cure for Rett syndrome and treatment focuses on managing the symptoms. If licensed, sarizotan could become the first therapy approved for treatment of Rett Syndrome patients.