Zogenix’s drug for severe epilepsy succeeds in late-stage trial

(Reuters) – Zogenix Inc said on Thursday its drug to treat a rare form of epilepsy reduced convulsive seizures associated with the disease in a late stage trial, sending its shares up 20 percent.

The trial was the second late-stage study of the experimental drug to treat patients with Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy with limited treatment options.

Zogenix’s results come close on the heels of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for GW Pharmaceuticals Plc’s cannabis-based treatment for two epilepsy types, including Dravet syndrome, making GW’s drug the first treatment for such patients.

Zogenix said the treatment also met all secondary goals of the study.

The company will focus on submitting applications for marketing approvals in the United States and Europe in the fourth quarter of 2018, it said.

Treatment options for patients with Dravet syndrome are currently limited to a combination of seizure medication and drugs to prevent emergencies.

Zogenix said last September that the treatment met the main goal of the first late-stage study.

The company’s shares rose nearly 20 percent to $55 in premarket trading on Thursday.

Reporting by Manas Mishra; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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