UCB’s £2.5 million genomic research program with Epilepsy Society has the potential to transform the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy patients, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
The program is expected to be pioneering for a number of reasons. Most important of which is the rich source of clinical data available from the Epilepsy Society’s Chalfont Centre in Buckinghamshire, which cares for the most severely affected patients.
Results from these studies are also expected to help in identifying novel antiepileptic drugs as well as new pathways that can be targeted in order to treat the condition. Another reason is UCB’s focus on epilepsy which is one of their main areas of drug development. These drugs include Keppra™, Vimpat™, and Briviact™ which together accounted for € 1,841 million net sales in 2017.
Vinie Varkey, MSc, Senior Neurology & Ophthalmology Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Having such data which can readily be assessed is a plus for any drug developer given the critical role such information plays in further understanding the underlying pathogenesis, as well as exploring avenues of early and correct diagnosis and development of effective treatment regimens using tools such as biomarkers.”
The partnership with Epilepsy Society is not UCB’s first foray into developing personalized treatment for epilepsy. The Eliprio program was set up in 2016 with the Georgia Institute of Technology and is intended to develop personalized treatments for epileptic patients but by leveraging on advanced analytics and machine learning. In 2016, the company also partnered with Evogen in order to advance the development of proteomics based blood test designed to improve the diagnosis of epilepsy.
Varkey concludes: “The latest collaboration with Epilepsy Society highlights the important role of genomics and personalized medicine in improving patient outcomes. UCB’s commercial reach and previous partnerships with other academic and research institutes is expected to help the company in developing holistic solutions for patients with epilepsy.”