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New First-in-class Treatment Fycompa® Launches in Norway for Most Common Form of Epilepsy

HATFIELD, England, January 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Eisai today launches Fycompa® (perampanel) in Norway as a treatment for partial-onset seizures, with or without secondarily generalised seizures, in people with epilepsy aged 12 years and older.[1]  Perampanel is the first in an entirely new class of treatment for uncontrolled partial epilepsy, the most common form of the condition.

There are more than 45,000 people in Norway with epilepsy.[2] The successful treatment of partial-onset seizures remains a significant challenge in some patients and the incidence of uncontrolled partial epilepsy remains high despite the availability of many anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs). Currently, between 20 - 40% of patients with newly diagnosed epilepsy will become refractory to treatment.[3]

Perampanel is the first and only licensed AED to selectively target AMPA receptors, a protein in the brain which plays a critical role in causing seizures.[4] This mechanism of action is different to other, currently available AEDs. In addition, perampanel has the added benefit of convenient, once-daily dosing at bedtime[1] and, significantly, is the only new-generation partial epilepsy treatment approved to treat adolescents with epilepsy from launch.

"Doctors and patients in Norway will welcome perampanel as a new option for the treatment of partial onset epilepsy. It may help people living with epilepsy to achieve better seizure control," said dr. Karl Otto Nakken from the National Center for Epilepsy, Oslo university hospital. "Perampanel could also help to optimise adherence in patients through once daily dosing, and thereby improve outcomes for these patients and reduce the potential drug burden a person with epilepsy may experience."

The efficacy, safety and tolerability of perampanel have been demonstrated by three Phase III global, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-escalation studies in 1,480 epilepsy patients. They showed consistent results in the efficacy and tolerability of perampanel as an adjunctive therapy in people with partial-onset seizures (with or without secondary generalisations).[5],[6],[7] The most commonly reported adverse events were dizziness, somnolence, fatigue, headache, falls, irritability and ataxia.[5],[6],[7]  

The Norwegian price for perampanel was received from the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision on 15 November 2012.  Perampanel received CHMP positive opinion in May 2012, was approved by the EC on 23 July 2012 and first launched in the UK on 13 September 2012. The FDA accepted the resubmission of New Drug Application for perampanel in March 2012 and has assigned a Prescription Drug User Free Act (PDUFA) target date of 22 October 2012.

The development of perampanel underscores Eisai's human health care (hhc) 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 Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Russia (EMEA) than any other company.

Notes to Editors

About perampanel

Perampanel is a highly selective, non-competitive AMPA (alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid)-type glutamate receptor antagonist that has demonstrated seizure reduction in Phase II and III studies. AMPA receptors, widely present in almost all excitatory neurons, transmit signals stimulated by the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate within the brain and are believed to play a role in central nervous system diseases characterised by excess neuroexcitatory signalling including epilepsy, neurodegenerative disorders, movement disorders, pain and psychiatric disorders.[1]

Further information for healthcare professionals can be found at http://www.fycompa.eu

About the Perampanel pooled data (Study 306, 305 and 304)

The pooled Phase III data analysed the efficacy of once-daily perampanel in reducing partial-onset seizures, the most common form of epilepsy, and its effectiveness and flexibility of use as add-on therapy. Perampanel is licensed for the adjunctive treatment of partial-onset seizures with or without secondarily generalized seizures in patients with epilepsy. The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) considers perampanel when positioned for use as a second-line adjunctive treatment in patients with refractory partial onset epilepsy i.e. patients who have previously received monotherapy and are not seizure free after at least one other adjunctive therapy.

Results from two separate analyses of pooled data from the perampanel pivotal Phase III clinical trial programme endorse the efficacy and safety of the new AED at clinically relevant doses.[8] In addition, the results show that perampanel decreased the frequency of both complex partial seizures and secondarily generalised seizures.[9] In a third analysis of the pooled trial data, patients with uncontrolled partial-onset seizures taking any of the five most commonly-used AEDs with perampanel as an add-on therapy experienced a reduction in their seizure frequency. Patients generally received additional benefit from increased doses of perampanel.[10]

The clinical development plan for perampanel consisted of three global Phase III studies (studies 306, 305 and 304). The key goal of Study 306[5] was to identify the minimal effective dose and included four treatment arms (placebo, 2mg, 4mg, and 8mg). Study 304[6] and Study 305[7] included three arms (placebo, 8mg, and 12mg) and were to evaluate a more extended dose range. The studies were similar in design: global, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-escalation, parallel-group studies. The primary and secondary endpoints were the same in all the studies: percentage change in seizure frequency, 50% responder rate, percentage reduction of complex partial plus secondarily generalised seizures, and evaluation for dose response. The primary endpoint for the EMA is 50% responder rate and for the FDA is median percent change in seizure frequency.

About Epilepsy

Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological conditions in the world, affecting approximately eight in 1,000 people in Europe, and an estimated 50 million people with the condition worldwide.[11],[12] 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 Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Russia (EMEA).

In the EMEA region, Eisai currently has four marketed treatments including:

  • Zonegran® (zonisamide) as monotherapy and 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® (eslicarbazepine acetate) as adjunctive therapy in adult patients with partial-onset seizures, with or without secondary generalisation. (Zebinix is under license from BIAL)
  • Inovelon® (rufinamide) for the adjunctive treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome in patients >4 years
  • Fycompa® (perampanel) for use as an adjunctive treatment for partial onset seizures, with or without secondarily generalised seizures, in patients with epilepsy aged 12 years and older

About Eisai

Eisai recently expanded their UK Hatfield commercial, research and manufacturing facility which now supports the company's growing 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, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Middle East and Russia.

For further information please visit our web site http://www.eisai.com.


1. Fycompa. Summary of Product Characteristics. August 2012

2. http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/e/epilepsy/stats-country.htm (last accessed Nov 2012)

3. French JA. Refractory Epilepsy; Clinical Overview. Epilepsia 2007: 48 (Suppl1) 3 - 7

4. Rogawski MA. Epilepsy Currents 2011;11:56-63.

5. Krauss GM. Serratosa JM, Villanueva V et al. Neurology 2012: http://www.neurology.org/ [Accessed August 2012].

6. French JA. Neurology 2012;79:589-596.

7. French JA et al. (305) Epilepsia 2012:1-9. In press online.

8. Ben-Menachem E,Krauss GL, Noachtar S et al. Abstract presented at ECE 2012

9. Steinhoff BJ, Gauffin H, McKee P et al. Abstract presented at ECE 2012

10. Trinka E, Straub H, Squillacote D et al.    Abstract presented at ECE 2012

11. Epilepsy in the WHO European Region: Fostering Epilepsy Care in Europe.   http://www.ibe-epilepsy.org/downloads/EURO%20Report%20160510.pdf [Accessed August 2012].

12. Pugliatti M, et al. Epilepsia 2007: 48(12) 2224 - 2233.


Date of preparation: January 2013

Job code: Perampanel-EU0026

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