BIAL and Eisai Announce New Data That Once-daily Zebinix® (eslicarbazepine acetate) Monotherapy is Effective and Well Tolerated According to First Data Presented at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting

HATFIELD, England and PORTO, Portugal, April 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

Emerging Science Platform Session abstract presentation times:  

Tuesday 19 April 17:45 - 19:15 PDT: 001, 002


- Topline Phase III data shows that once daily eslicarbazepine acetate monotherapy
in adults with newly diagnosed partial-onset seizures is effective and well tolerated
compared to twice daily controlled release carbamazepine at 6 months and 1 year of

Positive results from a Bial sponsored Phase III study[1],[2] in adult patients with newly diagnosed partial-onset seizures show that treatment with once daily Zebinix(R) (eslicarbazepine acetate) monotherapy is as effective as twice daily controlled-release carbamazepine, a standard of care, and is well-tolerated. Eslicarbazepine acetate is currently indicated in Europe as adjunctive therapy in adults with partial onset seizures, with or without secondary generalisation.[3]

Efficacy analysis from this study[1] shows seizure freedom rates with eslicarbazepine acetate are similar to that of controlled-release carbamazepine ie; (71.1% versus 75.6%) in 785 eligible patients at greater than or equal to6 months at the last evaluated dose (average risk difference -4.28%, 95%CI -10.3, 1.74%). The one-year seizure-free rate at the last evaluated dose was 64.7% in the eslicarbazepine acetate group and 70.3% in the controlled-release carbamazepine group (average risk difference: -5.46%; 95%CI: -11.88, 0.97%).

A safety analysis[2] in 813 patients shows that once-daily eslicarbazepine acetate is well tolerated and side effects are mild to moderate. Incidence rates of treatment emergent adverse events (TEAEs) were similar but slightly lower in patients receiving eslicarbazepine acetate versus patients receiving controlled-release carbamazepine (77.8% vs 80.1% respectively). Possibly-related TEAEs for eslicarbazepine acetate were 43.6% compared with 51.5% for controlled release carbamazepine. Serious treatment-related TEAEs in eslicarbazepine acetate treated patients versus patients treated with controlled release carbamazepine were 2.0% vs 2.7% and for TEAEs leading to withdrawal were 13.5% vs 18%. The most frequently reported possibly-related TEAEs for eslicarbazepine acetate were headache, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and somnolence.

"According to these data the efficacy of eslicarbazepine acetate monotherapy is clear, as 71% of people are seizure-free for six consecutive months. With a similar efficacy and safety profile to controlled-release carbamazepine we hope that eslicarbazepine acetate may be another potential treatment option for patients in the future," comments Professor Eugen Trinka, Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology, Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg, Austria.

"This is the first time that data are presented for eslicarbazepine acetate as once daily monotherapy for the treatment of adult patients who have just been diagnosed with partial-onset seizures. This underscores Bial's commitment to explore effective treatments for patients affected by epilepsy at all stages of their illness," comments Patrício Soares-da-Silva, Head of Research & Development, Bial.

This pivotal Phase III study[1],[2] is a randomised, double-blind, parallel-group, active-controlled and non-inferiority study, investigating the efficacy and safety of once-daily eslicarbazepine acetate (800 to 1600 mg/daily) as monotherapy treatment for newly diagnosed adults (18 years and older) with partial-onset seizures in comparison with twice-daily controlled-release carbamazepine (400 to 1200 mg/daily). The primary endpoint is the proportion of people seizure free for the entire 26-week evaluation period. Secondary endpoints include the time to first seizure, a QOLIE-31 quality of life assessment, and safety. The study examines data from 900 (815 available for efficacy and 813 available for safety analyses) newly diagnosed people (aged 18 and over) with epilepsy who experience partial-onset seizures, to evaluate eslicarbazepine acetate as a single treatment option.

The continued development of eslicarbazepine acetate underscores Bial and Eisai's commitment in optimizing the treatment care of patients with epilepsy. Eslicarbazepine acetate is already available in Albania*, Austria, Czech Republic, Cyprus*, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany (co-promotion with BIAL, the developer of eslicarbazepine acetate) , Greece, Iceland, Italy, Malta*, Norway, Portugal*, Republic of Ireland, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia, Sweden, Spain (co-promotion with BIAL), UK (co-promotion with BIAL) and the U.S and Canada**.

* Exclusively by BIAL

** Eslicarbazepine acetate is sold in the U.S. and Canada under the trade name Aptiom (R)

Notes to Editors  

About Zebinix (eslicarbazepine acetate)  

Eslicarbazepine acetate is currently marketed in Europe by BIAL-Portela & C(a), S.A and by BIAL's licensee, Eisai Europe Limited, a European subsidiary of Eisai Co., Ltd. under the trade name Zebinix(R). In the United States and Canada eslicarbazepine acetate (tradename Aptiom(R)) is marketed by Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc., under an exclusive license from BIAL.

Eslicarbazepine acetate is indicated in Europe as adjunctive therapy in adults with partial onset seizures, with or without secondary generalisation.[3]

Eslicarbazepine acetate is a voltage-gated sodium channel blocker. It selectively targets the slow inactivated state of the sodium ion channel (which have been implicated in the pathogenesis of epilepsy), preventing its return to the active state, and thereby reduces repetitive neuronal firing.[4] Further, eslicarbazepine acetate does not inhibit potassium efflux, which may reduce the potential for repetitive neuronal firings.[5] The efficacy of eslicarbazepine acetate was demonstrated in an initial proof-of-concept phase II study[6] and three subsequent phase III randomised, placebo controlled studies in 1,049 people with refractory partial onset seizures.[7],[8],[9]

- Zebinix is the EU trade name for eslicarbazepine acetate
- Zebinix is under license from BIAL
- APTIOM is the trade name for eslicarbazepine acetate in the U.S. and Canada and is
under license to Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc.

For more information please visit:

About Epilepsy  

Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological conditions in the world, affecting approximately six million people in Europe, and an estimated 50 million people worldwide. [10] Epilepsy is a chronic disorder of the brain that affects people of all ages. It is characterised by abnormal discharges of neuronal activity which causes seizures. Seizures can vary in severity, from brief lapses of attention or jerking of muscles, to severe and prolonged convulsions. Depending on the seizure type, seizures may be limited to one part of the body, or may involve the whole body. Seizures can also vary in frequency from less than one per year, to several per day. Epilepsy has many possible causes but often the cause is unknown.[10]

About BIAL  

Founded in 1924, BIAL is an international pharmaceutical company with the mission to discover, develop and provide therapeutic solutions within the area of health. In recent decades, BIAL has focused on quality, innovation and internationalization.

Being the partner of choice for many companies, BIAL is strongly committed to therapeutic innovation, investing more than 20% of its turnover in Research and Development (R&D) every year.

BIAL has established an ambitious R&D program centred on the central nervous, cardiovascular system and allergy immunotherapy. BIAL's innovative programmes focus on continuing the clinical development of its anti-epileptic Zebinix(R)/Aptiom(R) (on the market in Europe and the US). A second compound from its R&D pipeline for the treatment of Parkinson's disease, opicapone, is under review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

The company expects to introduce more new medicines and vaccines to the market in the next years, strengthening its position worldwide and accomplishing the company's purpose of "Caring for your Health".

For more information about BIAL, please visit

About Eisai Co., Ltd. 

Eisai Co., Ltd. is a leading global research and development-based pharmaceutical company headquartered in Japan. We define our corporate mission as "giving first thought to patients and their families and to increasing the benefits health care provides," which we call our human health care (hhc) philosophy. With over 10,000 employees working across our global network of R&D facilities, manufacturing sites and marketing subsidiaries, we strive to realise our hhc philosophy by delivering innovative products in multiple therapeutic areas with high unmet medical needs, including Oncology and Neurology. 

As a global pharmaceutical company, our mission extends to patients around the world through our investment and participation in partnership-based initiatives to improve access to medicines in developing and emerging countries.

For more information about Eisai Co., Ltd., please visit


1) Trinka E, et al. Efficacy of eslicarbazepine acetate versus controlled-release
carbamazepine as monotherapy in patients with newly diagnosed partial-onset seizures.
Presented at AAN 2016; abstract 001
2) Kowacs P, et al. Safety and tolerability of eslicarbazepine acetate as monotherapy in
patients with newly diagnosed partial-onset seizures.  Presented at AAN 2016; abstract
3) Zebinix(R) Data on File, May 2015
4) Hebeisen S, et al. Eslicarbazepine and the enhancement of slow inactivation of
voltage-gated sodium channels: a comparison with carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine and
lacosamide. Neuropharmacology 2015; 89:122-35
5) Soares-da-Silva P, et al. Eslicarbazepine acetate for the treatment of focal epilepsy:
an update on its proposed mechanisms of action. Pharmacol Res Perspect. 2015; 3:e00124
6) Elger C, et al. Eslicarbazepine acetate: A double-blind, add-on, placebo-controlled
exploratory trial in adult patients with partial-onset seizures. Epilepsia 2007;
7) Elger C, et al. Efficacy and safety of eslicarbazepine acetate as adjunctive treatment
in adults with refractory partial-onset seizures: A randomised, double-blind,
placebo-controlled, parallel-group phase III study. Epilepsia. 2009;50:454-63
8) Ben-Menachem E, et al. Eslicarbazepine acetate as adjunctive therapy in adult patients
with partial epilepsy. Epilepsy Res. 2010;89(2-3):278-85
9) Gil-Nagel A, et al. Efficacy and safety of 800 and 1200 mg eslicarbazepine acetate as
adjunctive treatment in adults with refractory partial-onset seizures. Acta Neurol
Scand. 2009; 120:281-87
10) Pugliatti M, et al.  Estimating the cost of epilepsy in Europe: A review with economic
modeling. Epilepsia 2007; 48:2224-33

Date of preparation: April 2016 
Job code: Zebinix-UK2391 



CONTACT: Media Enquiries: Eisai: Cressida Robson / Ben Speller,+44(0)7908-314-155 / +44(0)7908-409-416, /; Tonic Life Communications: Madeleine Nelson,+44(0)77-9247-3840,; BIAL: Susana Vasconcelos,+351-229866100,

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