Adjunctive brivaracetam in adults with uncontrolled focal epilepsy: Results from a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial

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  • The copyright line for this article was changed on May 4, 2015 after original online publication.

Summary

Purpose

Brivaracetam (BRV) is a novel high-affinity synaptic vesicle protein 2A ligand in clinical development for the treatment of epilepsy. This phase III study (N01252; NCT00490035) evaluated the efficacy and safety/tolerability of BRV (20, 50, and 100 mg/day) compared with placebo (PBO) in patients aged 16–70 years with uncontrolled focal seizures with/without secondary generalization, despite treatment with one to two concomitant antiepileptic drugs at a stable and optimal dosage.

Methods

This was a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial conducted across Europe and India. Eligible patients had two or more focal seizures/month for 3 months prior to screening and eight or more focal seizures during the 8-week prospective baseline. Concomitant use of levetiracetam was limited to 20% of randomized patients. Patients were randomized (1:1:1:1) to BRV 20, 50, 100 mg/day or PBO with no up-titration for 12 weeks, followed by down-titration or entry into a long-term follow-up study. The primary efficacy end point was percent reduction over PBO in baseline-adjusted focal seizure frequency/week over the 12-week treatment period. Comparison of BRV with PBO was sequential to control for multiplicity (50, 100, 20 mg/day), and thus required BRV to demonstrate superiority over PBO at 50 mg/day to meet the primary efficacy end point. Secondary efficacy variables were median percent reduction from baseline in focal seizure frequency/week, ≥50% responder rate, and seizure freedom (all seizure types). Safety assessments included treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs).

Key Findings

Of 399 randomized patients, 398 were included in the intent-to-treat (ITT) and safety populations. Overall, 367 (92.2%) of 398 patients completed the study (BRV: 93.9%, 88.9%, and 94.0% for 20, 50, and 100 mg/day, respectively; PBO: 92.0%) and 345 (86.7%) of 398 patients continued into long-term follow-up studies (BRV: 87.9%, 82.8%, and 88.0% for 20, 50, and 100 mg/day, respectively; PBO: 88.0%). The study did not meet its primary efficacy end point based on the predefined sequential testing strategy. Indeed, percent reduction over PBO in baseline-adjusted focal seizure frequency/week (primary efficacy analysis) was 6.8% (p = 0.239), 6.5% (p = 0.261), and 11.7% (p = 0.037) for BRV 20, 50, and 100 mg/day, respectively. Median percent reduction from baseline in focal seizure frequency/week was 30.0% (p = 0.019), 26.8% (p = 0.092), and 32.5% (p = 0.004) for BRV 20, 50, and 100 mg/day, respectively, compared with 17.0% for PBO. Responder rates (≥50%) were 27.3% (p = 0.339), 27.3% (p = 0.372), and 36.0% (p = 0.023) for BRV 20, 50, and 100 mg/day, respectively, compared with 20.0% for PBO. Complete seizure freedom was reported by 2/99, 0/99, and 4/100 patients on BRV 20, 50, and 100 mg/day, respectively, compared with 0/100 on PBO. The incidence of TEAEs was higher for BRV 20 (56/99, 56.6%), 50 (62/99, 62.6%), and 100 mg/day (63/100, 63.0%) than PBO (53/100, 53.0%); most TEAEs were mild or moderate in severity. The most frequently reported TEAEs in the BRV groups were headache, somnolence, dizziness, and fatigue.

Significance

In this study of adjunctive BRV (20–100 mg/day) in adults with uncontrolled focal seizures, the primary efficacy analysis based on the 50 mg/day dose was not statistically significant. However, BRV 100 mg/day reduced baseline-adjusted focal seizure frequency/week by 11.7% over PBO, achieving statistical significance (p = 0.037). Secondary efficacy analyses (percent reduction from baseline in focal seizure frequency/week, ≥50% responder rate) provided supportive evidence for the efficacy of BRV 100 mg/day. BRV 20–100 mg/day was well tolerated without up-titration, with a high completion rate.

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