11 Dec 2012, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: Scotland's health technology assessment body, Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC), has approved Eisai's AMPA receptor antagonist Fycompa (perampanel) as a second-line adjunctive treatment in patients with refractory partial-onset epilepsy under National Health Service Scotland. The approval of perampanel is the drug's first health technology assessment worldwide.
The consortium assessed perampanel from an efficacy, safety and health economics perspective based on three submitted placebo-controlled double-blind studies, based on a comparative health economic analysis that took into account overall costs (including drug costs, in-patient visits, A&E services, outpatient and GP visits) compared with existing anti-epileptic drugs.
The consortium evaluated that perampanel was superior to placebo in terms of seizure control. Furthermore, perampanel was evaluated to be a cost-effective treatment taking into account the benefits of a patient access scheme submitted by Eisai. Approximately, 54,000 people in Scotland have epilepsy, making it one of the most common neurological diseases, while an increasing trend in the incidence of epilepsy has also been observed in recent years.
Furthermore, with approximately 30 percent of patients living with partial epilepsy not achieving seizure freedom despite therapy with existing antiepileptic drugs, there is a pressing need for effective new drugs in this field. Through the consortium approval, it is now possible for patients with epilepsy in Scotland to access the benefits of the new mechanism possessed by this drug under NHS Scotland.
Discovered and developed by Eisai, Fycompa is a highly selective, non-competitive AMPA-type glutamate receptor antagonist. Epileptic seizures are primarily mediated by the neurotransmitter glutamate. As an AMPA receptor antagonist, Fycompa reduces neuronal hyperexcitation associated with seizures by targeting glutamate activity at post-synaptic AMPA receptors.