Epilepsy is a chronic neurological condition characterised by recurring seizures, involuntary movements affecting the body. Idiopathic generalised epilepsy is the most common form, constituting 25% of cases. The cause remains unknown in 50% of cases, with structural abnormalities, genetics, viral infections, metabolic disorders, and immunological factors playing roles. With effective antiepileptic drugs, up to 70% can achieve seizure freedom. Epilepsy affects approximately 46 million people globally, with the highest prevalence in Asia-Pacific, posing a significant global burden. 

Cutting-edge progress 

In its latest report, Novotech, a global clinical Contract Research Organisation (CRO), offers insights into novel therapeutic approaches, clinical trials, and future innovations shaping the future of epilepsy care. 

In the treatment landscape, antiepileptic drugs (anticonvulsants) are the primary drug choice to prevent seizures in people with epilepsy, with a success rate of over 60%. Monotherapy is recommended over polytherapy to reduce side effects and costs. However, many people with epilepsy also experience psychiatric and cognitive issues, requiring comprehensive management. The increase in drug-resistant epilepsy cases has triggered the need for innovative treatments. Ongoing research efforts offer opportunities through the development of precision medicine, genetic therapies, and neurostimulation devices targeting specific epilepsy subtypes. 

The report goes on to discuss clinical trials, highlighting since 2019, the biotech and biopharma industry initiated over 4,000 epilepsy trials. Asia-Pacific leads in the number of trials conducted, followed by Europe, North America, and the rest of the world. Mainland China leads in Asia Pacific, while Germany is prominent in Europe. The United States plays a major role in epilepsy trials in North America while Israel contributes moderately to the rest of the world’s trials. With respect to patient recruitment trends, Asia-Pacific showed shorter recruitment durations and faster patient recruitment rates in comparison to the US and Europe. 

In marketed and pipeline drugs, there are various marketed drugs from companies like Advicenne S.A., and Pfizer Inc., along with other options in late-stage development. Likozam and Fycompa, which target the AMPA glutamate receptor, are already approved and marketed for the treatment of epilepsy. Additionally, the Phase III pipeline includes drugs such as Ztalmy and Ganaxolone. These target the GABA a receptor, suggesting advancements in epilepsy treatment options and focusing on exploring novel mechanisms of action to address the challenges of this disease. 

Promising opportunities 

Epilepsy is a pressing global health issue, with ongoing advancements in research and treatment driven by a deepening understanding of its complexity. Emerging non-pharmacological interventions and innovative therapies offer promising avenues to improve epilepsy management. Collaboration among researchers, healthcare providers, and pharmaceutical companies is crucial for advancing epilepsy care. 

Novotech partners with biotech firms to accelerate advanced therapeutics development across all phases. It has experience with over 5,000 clinical projects, partnerships with 1,500 plus sites and offers a wide range of services including laboratories, Phase 1 facilities, and regulatory expertise. With 34 office locations and a team of 3,000+ professionals, Novotech is a trusted strategic partner for end-to-end solutions. 

Discover more about epilepsy research by downloading the comprehensive disease report below.