UCB has announced that the FDA has granted orphan-drug designation to brivaracetam for the treatment of symptomatic myoclonus.
Brivaracetam, a SV2A ligand that is differentiated from levetiracetam (Keppra) by its mechanism of action profile, has shown a significant antiepileptic activity in experimental models of epilepsyand myoclonus, as well as in a photosensitive epilepsy model in humans. Brivaracetam is currently being studied in Phase II clinical trials in patients with refractory partial onset seizures and in patients with post-herpetic neuralgia.
Myoclonus is defined as sudden, brief, shock-like involuntary movements affecting one or more muscles. It can be a symptom of manifold diseases of varying underlying aetiologies, including different epileptic syndromes.