New Class of Antiepileptic Drugs

New Class of Antiepileptic Drugs

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures. These seizures are extremely debilitating and in some patients occur multiple times a day. Unfortunately, while numerous treatments for epilepsy have been developed, 25-30% of epilepsy patients do not achieve complete control of their seizures or are left suffering from severe side effects from their antiepileptic drugs. This leaves a large portion of the population without adequate treatment and a great need for the development of new treatments to help these patients.

Drs. Patrice L. Jackson-Ayotunde and Harper Tawes at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore have identified a new class of chemicals that possess antiepileptic properties in animal models. Through structural-activity relationship studies, they have developed twelve lead compounds that show antiepileptic properties in multiple animal models with limited to no observed neurotoxicity.

In 2013, the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) received 154 invention disclosures from the university’s renowned faculty. Ten of these inventions were selected as finalists for the Invention of the Year Award, based on their impact on science, society, and market potential. Winners will be announced on April 29, 2014 at the Celebration of Innovation and Partnerships event.

About OTC: The University of Maryland created OTC in 1986 to provide expert guidance, support, and assistance in safeguarding intellectual property, encouraging research, facilitating technological transfer, and promoting collaborative research and development agreements with industrial sponsors. Visit their website for more information.

April 25, 2014


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