Grant: Supplemental Request: Development of IV Topiramate for Neonatal Seizures
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
James C. Cloyd, PharmD, Professor and Director, Center for Orphan Drugs, University of Minnesota received a grant to continue to pursue the development of an intravenous (IV) formulation of topiramate to bring a well-established and effective medication to a new therapeutic indication: neonatal seizures. Neonatal seizures, for which there are limited therapeutic options, can result in impairment in development, cognition and potentially harmful side effects to the developing brain. Laboratory studies offer compelling evidence that topiramate, an effective anti-epileptic drug with a good safety record in children over two years of age and adults, could substantially improve the management of seizures in newborn infants. An IV formulation would be required to treat neonates because of the need to precisely control drug concentrations, and no IV topiramate currently exists.
November 2009: New Therapy and Milken Family Foundation Grant Award
Grant: Proof of Principle Trial: 2-deoxy-D-glucose for Intractable Seizures
University of Virginia
Nathan Fountain, MD, Professor and Director, F.E. Dreyfuss Comprehensive Epilepsy Program, University of Virginia received a grant to conduct a preliminary human clinical trial to determine if 2DG, an analogue of normal sugar that blocks sugar metabolism, reduces seizures in people with frequent seizures. Despite 11 new drugs for epilepsy since 1990, ~50% of patients have recurring seizures and ~15% remain intractable. 2DG has novel acute anticonvulsant and chronic antiepileptic actions, including enhanced delivery into brain regions undergoing seizures enabling effective "post-seizure" treatment. 2DG is distinctive compared to ALL currently marketed anticonvulsants, and appears to have potential to increase the number of patients who achieve control, and to favorably modify adverse consequences in patients in whom complete control is not achieved.
November 2009: Epilepsy Therapy Project - Investment
NeuroTherapeutics Pharma (www.ntprx.com)
NeuroTherapeutics Pharma is a privately held life sciences company which is focused on the discovery and development of novel therapeutics for patients suffering from CNS disorders. NTP will file an IND for its lead compound, NTP-2014, in the first quarter of 2010. The compound has exhibited excellent efficacy results in multiple models of epilepsy, chronic neuropathic pain and acute pain. NTP-2014 also has demonstrated a very favorable safety profile in the IND-enabling (GLP) subchronic toxicology studies. NTP is financially backed by Novo Ventures and Thomas, McNerney and Partners. The company is led by a strong management team with significant drug development experience in the CNS space. Stephen Collins, MD, PhD is President and Chief Executive Officer.
July 2009: New Therapy Grant Awards
Grant: Safety Profile of the Subdural Hybrid Neuroprosthesis for Focal Epilepsy
New York University School of Medicine
New York, NY
Ludvig Nandor, MD, PhD, Associate Professor at the New York University School of Medicine received a grant to determine the safety of a new medical device, the Subdural Hybrid Neuroprosthesis, for the treatment of drug resistant, surgically untreatable focal epilepsies. The device will deliver anti-seizure drugs directly into the seizure focus to prevent seizures without side-effects. The safety of this emerging epilepsy therapy will be tested in monkeys so that the device can be implanted in the same way in humans.
Grant: Clinical EEG Acquisition Systems with Online Fast Ripple Detection
Columbia University Medical Center
New York, NY
Catherine Schevon, MD, Assistant Professor at Columbia University Medical Center received a grant to develop a practical intracranial EEG recording system that will bring information on high frequency EEG signals into clinical practice, thus increasing the efficacy of the current surgical treatment of medically refractory partial epilepsy. By more specifically identifying the epileptogenic region, seizure outcomes can be improved while minimizing the area of brain that must be removed surgically. If these frequencies are found to be a reliable biomarker in interictal recordings, this could obviate the need for prolonged implantation, or even single-stage surgical procedures for neocortical epilepsy syndromes.