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This article is the authors’ final published version in Epilepsy Research, Volume 174, August 2021, Article number 106646.

The published version is available at Copyright © Halford et al.


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of soticlestat, a first-in-class cholesterol 24-hydroxylase inhibitor, in adults with developmental and/or epileptic encephalopathies (DEE).

METHODS: The study comprised a 30-day, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase (Part A), followed by a 55-day open-label phase (Part B) ( ID: NCT03166215) . In Part A, patients with DEE and at least one bilateral motor seizure during the 4-week prospective baseline period were randomized 4:1 to receive soticlestat or placebo, in addition to their usual antiseizure medication. In Part B, all patients received open-label soticlestat. Soticlestat doses were titrated according to tolerability to a maximum of 300 mg twice daily (BID). Safety evaluations included the incidence of treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs). Plasma soticlestat concentrations were measured at various times for determination of multiple-dose pharmacokinetics and 24S-hydroxycholesterol (24HC). Efficacy was assessed by evaluation of changes in seizure frequency from baseline.

RESULTS: Eighteen patients (median age, 28.5 years) were enrolled and randomized, and 14 (78 %) completed the study. In Part A, TEAEs occurred in 71.4 % of soticlestat-treated patients and 100 % of placebo-treated patients. In Part B, the overall incidence of TEAEs was 68.8 %. In Part A, TEAEs that occurred in more than one patient in the soticlestat group were dysarthria (n = 3, 21.4 %), lethargy (n = 2, 14.3 %), upper respiratory tract infection (n = 2, 14.3 %), fatigue (n = 2, 14.3 %), and headache (n = 2, 14.3 %). Four patients discontinued treatment because of TEAEs, of whom two reported drug-related seizure clusters as serious TEAEs. There were no deaths. Pharmacokinetic analysis showed dose-dependent increases in systemic exposure and peak plasma soticlestat concentrations. At the end of Part B, the overall mean percent change from baseline in plasma 24HC was -80.97 %. Changes from baseline in median seizure frequency were +16.71 % and +22.16 % in the soticlestat and placebo groups, respectively, in Part A, and -36.38 % in all participants in Part B.

CONCLUSION: Soticlestat was well tolerated at doses of up to 300 mg BID and was associated with a reduction in median seizure frequency over the study duration. Further studies are warranted to assess the possible efficacy of soticlestat as adjunctive therapy in patients with DEEs such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

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