The section chief of pediatric neurology at Nationwide Children’s Hospital discussed his experience using some of the approved medications for patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
“If you look at, for example, focal epilepsy, there are over 20 to 30 anti-seizure medications and other treatments. If you focus on LGS itself, it’s getting much better over the last 10 years, but obviously, we don’t have as many options or bag of tricks so to speak, compared to some other epilepsy syndromes.”
In June 2018, the FDA approved cannabidiol (CBD) oral solution, marketed as Epidiolex, for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome (DS) for patients 2 years of age and older. The treatment became the first drug approved by the FDA to contain a cannabis-derived, purified drug substance, and was later expanded to include patients age 1 and older in August 2020.
The approval represented a major milestone for patients with LGS, which have not benefitted from a vast landscape of approved treatments in comparison to other epilepsy disorders. Researchers will wait to see whether fenfluramine (Fintepla; Zogenix), a highly anticipated drug that was approved for DS in June, will be the next major treatment for patients with LGS. Despite the limited number of options, the momentum within the community and among industry leaders has grown, especially over the past 15 to 20 years, according to Anup Patel, MD.
Patel, the section chief of pediatric neurology at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and associate professor of clinical pediatrics and neurology at Ohio State University, feels as though the growing awareness has allowed more companies to want to be invested in the disease. He sat down with NeurologyLive to share his thoughts on how to evaluate the LGS treatment landscape, and what needs to happen in the future.