Zogenix’s seizure drug clears late-stage trial, shares soar

(Reuters) – Zogenix Inc (ZGNX.O) said on Thursday its drug to treat a rare form of childhood epilepsy reduced convulsive seizures in a second late-stage trial, sending the drug developer’s shares up as much as 26 percent.

FILE PHOTO: A person holds pharmaceutical tablets and capsules in this picture illustration. REUTERS/Srdjan Zivulovic/File Photo

The successful trial takes the company one step closer to bringing the drug to the market, and comes close on the heels of regulatory approval for GW Pharmaceuticals Plc’s (GWPH.O) cannabis-based treatment for the same form of epilepsy.

Current treatment options for Dravet syndrome, which affects an estimated 20,000 patients in the United States, are limited to a combination of seizure medication and drugs to prevent emergencies.

Zogenix’s drug uses a low-dose, liquid solution of fenfluramine, which was used in the now off-the-market “fen-phen” obesity drug combination. The treatment was pulled off the market due to evidence of heart valve damage.

But Zogenix said no safety signal of any cardiovascular abnormality had been identified to date in any of the trials of the drug.

In the trial, the treatment reduced the frequency…

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