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Examining the Clinical Utility of Lacosamide

Pooled Analyses of Three Phase II/III Clinical Trials


Background: Lacosamide is an antiepileptic drug (AED) approved for the adjunctive treatment of partial-onset seizures in adults. Completed phase II/III clinical trials of lacosamide provide a valuable opportunity to evaluate clinically relevant aspects of the resulting large patient pool.

Objective: To provide insight into the clinical utility of lacosamide by performing a priori-defined and post hoc analyses on a large, pooled patient population.

Study Design: Pooled data from three randomized, double-blind, multicentre, placebo-controlled phase II/III trials.

Patients: Adult patients with partial-onset seizures with or without secondary generalization (N = 1294).

Intervention: Four- to six-week titration followed by 12-week maintenance treatment with lacosamide (Vimpat®) 200, 400 or 600mg/day or placebo.

Main Outcome Measure: A priori- defined primary efficacy variables for the pooled analysis were change in seizure frequency per 28 days and the proportion of patients experiencing a ≥50% reduction in seizure frequency (50% responder rate) from Baseline to the Maintenance Phase; a priori-defined secondary efficacy variables were the proportion of patients achieving a ≥75% reduction in seizure frequency from Baseline to the Maintenance Phase (75% responder rate), the proportion of Maintenance Phase completers remaining seizure free throughout the entire Maintenance Phase and the percentage of seizure-free days during the Maintenance Phase for patients entering the Maintenance Phase. The pooled analyses of the change in seizure frequency, and 50% and 75% responder rates were performed with an intent-to-treat (ITT) approach, including all patients receiving at least one dose of trial medication and having at least one post-baseline efficacy assessment. Similar analyses of the two primary efficacy variables and 75% responder rates were also performed using a modified ITT population (ITTm) that included ITT patients who entered the Maintenance Phase. Additional post hoc efficacy analyses were an evaluation of onset of efficacy and assessment of efficacy in patients grouped by prior surgical history and individual concomitant AED use. In addition, pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic modelling was performed, and safety data were assessed.

Results: In this pooled analysis of 1294 difficult-to-treat patients, all three dosages of lacosamide (200, 400 and 600 mg/day) showed a significant improvement compared with placebo for median percent seizure reduction (ITT and ITTm; p < 0.05 for 200 mg/day, p < 0.001 for 400 and 600 mg/day), as well as for 50% responder rate (ITT and ITTm; p <0.05 for 200 mg/day, p<0.001 for 400 and 600 mg/day). Evaluation of 75% responder rate in the phase II/III pooled population showed that a significantly higher proportion of patients randomized to lacosamide 400 or 600 mg/day achieved a ≥75% reduction in seizure frequency compared with placebo (ITT and ITTm; p < 0.001); statistical significance was not observed for lacosamide 200 mg/day (ITT and ITTm). A total of 2.7%, 3.3% and 4.8% of patients completing the Maintenance Phase in the lacosamide 200, 400 and 600 mg/day groups, respectively, experienced no seizures throughout the entire Maintenance Phase (placebo group = 0.9%). The mean change from baseline in the percentage of seizure-free days in patients entering the Maintenance Phase for the phase II/III pool was 8.0%, 11.6% and 14.7% with lacosamide 200 (p =0.077), 400 (p<0.001) and 600 (p<0.001) mg/day groups, respectively, compared with 6.1% in the placebo group.

The onset of efficacy relative to placebo was evident by the first week of treatment with lacosamide. Efficacy was similar in lacosamide-treated patients reporting prior surgical intervention for epilepsy compared to lacosamidetreated patients with no prior surgical intervention. Lacosamide showed a reduction in seizures, regardless of the concomitant AEDs used. The preferred pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic model (Emax) supported the therapeutic dose range of lacosamide, and no additional safety concerns were identified in the phase II/III pooled analysis.

Conclusions: Results of these a priori-defined and post hoc pooled data analyses from phase II/III trials demonstrate that lacosamide effectively reduces seizures in patients at all three dosages evaluated with an early onset of efficacy, regardless of patient surgical history and concomitant AED regimen.

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Individual trials as well as pooled analyses were supported by SCHWARZ Biosciences Inc. and SCHWARZ Biosciences GmbH, members of the UCB group. Steve Chung, MD, is a consultant for Medtronics, Inc., GlaxoSmithKline plc. and UCB S.A., is on the speaker’s bureaux of Cyberonics, Inc., GlaxoSmithKline plc. and UCB S.A., and receives grant and research support from Schwarz Pharma A.G., GlaxoSmithKline, UCB S.A., Valeant, Eisai Inc., Ortho-McNeil and Medtronics, Inc. Elinor Ben-Menachem, MD, PhD has taken honorarium for speaking for UCB S.A., Janssen-Cilag EMEA, Bial, Eisai Inc. and Valeant, and has received support from Cyberonics, Inc., Bial, Eisai Inc., Pfizer Inc., Johnson & Johnson Inc. and UCB S.A. She has also served as a paid consultant for UCB S.A., Eisai Inc., Bial, Valeant and Sanofi-Aventis. Michael Sperling, MD, is a consultant for Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co., Ltd. and Valeant, is on the speaker’s bureaux of Pfizer, Eisai Inc. and UCB S.A., and receives research support from UCB S.A. and Schwarz Pharma A.G., NeuroPace, Inc., Medtronics, Inc., Eisai Inc., Johnson & Johnson Inc. and Marinus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. William Rosenfeld, MD, receives research support from UCB Pharma, Eisai, SCHWARZ Biosciences, Valeant, Medtronics, Inc., King Pharmaceuticals, Lundbeck, Johnson & Johnson PRD, Sepracor, Vertex and Upsher Smith, is on the speaker’s bureaux for UCB Pharma and Lundbeck and is a consultant for UCB Pharma. Nathan Fountain, MD, receives research support from UCB, SCHWARZ Biosciences, Vertex, Sepracor, Neuropace, Medtronics, Inc. and NIH. Selim Benbadis, MD, is a consultant for and on the speaker’s bureaux of Cyberonics, GlaxoSmithKline, Lundbeck, Pfizer, Spleepmed, UCB and XLTEK. David Hebert, PhD, Jouko Isojärvi, MD, PhD, and Pamela Doty, PhD, are employees of SCHWARZ Biosciences, a member of the UCB group. The authors gratefully acknowledge Willi Cawello, PhD, of SCHWARZ Biosciences GmbH, for his expertise and assistance with the manuscript. Full medical writing assistance was supported by UCB and was provided by Jennifer Hepker, PhD, of Prescott Medical Communications Group (Chicago, IL, USA).

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Correspondence to Dr Steve Chung.

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Chung, S., Ben-Menachem, E., Sperling, M.R. et al. Examining the Clinical Utility of Lacosamide. CNS Drugs 24, 1041–1054 (2010).

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  • Vagus Nerve Stimulation
  • Seizure Frequency
  • Maintenance Phase
  • Lacosamide
  • Responder Rate