Insights on Seizure Therapy and Future Plans in Epilepsy Research: Iryna Leunikava, MSc


The European evidence generation strategy lead for epilepsy and rare syndromes at UCB described some details about further epilepsy research and other explorations in the next few years. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes

"Our preliminary findings mark a significant milestone in epilepsy research, providing a glimpse into the efficacy of certain therapies. The journey continues with a broader patient population and comprehensive data analysis."

Focal onset seizures, a common neurological disorder, are characterized by abnormal electrical activity in a specific area of the brain.1 Treatment for these types of seizures include an array of options such as antiepileptic medications, surgical interventions, and lifestyle modifications. Brivaracetam (Briviact; UCB Pharma), a third-generation antiepileptic racetam derivative and a 4-n-propyl analogue of levetiracetam (Keppra; UCB Pharma), has been used as an adjuvant therapy for patients with focal onset seizures. The antiepileptic agent has shown promising results with minimal adverse effect reactions in clinical trials and has been used in several analyses at various dosages in partial-onset seizures since its approval.

Presented at the 2023 American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting, held December 1-5, in Orlando, Florida, a recent interim analysis of the ongoing, prospective, noninterventional BRITOBA study (EP0103) demonstrated the positive impact of introducing adjunctive brivaracetam earlier in patients with focal onset seizures.2 Conducted by colead investigator Iryna Leunikava, MSc, and colleagues, the findings showed overall benefit in improved quality of life, distress in epilepsy, depressive thoughts, and activity impairment at 6 months. Investigators noted patients in the study reported satisfaction with the treatment and improved cognitive effects following seizures and seizure severity.3

Leunikava, a European evidence generation strategy lead for epilepsy and rare syndromes at UCB, recently sat down in an interview with NeurologyLive® to discuss how the preliminary findings in the smaller patient sample pave the way for more comprehensive insights into epilepsy therapies. She also shared about what to expect from the second interim analysis at the 2024 European Epilepsy Congress, held September 7-11, in Rome, Italy, and how it will contribute to understanding the treatment’s efficacy. In addition, Leunikava spoke about how a brivaracetam registry study differs in its approach, focusing on geriatric patients and women in childbearing potential, and its potential impact on epilepsy research.

Click here for more coverage of AES 2023.

1. Ighodaro ET, Maini K, Arya K, Sharma S. Focal Onset Seizure. In: StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; September 24, 2023.
2. Latimer D, Le D, Falgoust E, et al. Brivaracetam to Treat Partial Onset Seizures in Adults. Health Psychol Res. 2023;10(5):56782. Published 2023 Jan 28. doi:10.52965/001c.56782
3. UCB presents new data advancing patient-focused scientific leadership at American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting. News Release. Published December 1, 2023. Accessed December 21, 2023.

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