Preclinical research has facilitated the discovery of valuable drugs for the symptomatic treatment of epilepsy. Yet, despite these therapies, seizures are not adequately controlled in a third of all affected individuals, and comorbidities still impose a major burden on quality of life. The introduction of multiple new therapies into clinical use over the past two decades has done little to change this. There is an urgent demand to address the unmet clinical needs for: (a) new symptomatic anti-seizure treatments for drug-resistant seizures with improved efficacy/tolerability profiles, (b) disease modifying treatments that prevent or ameliorate the epileptogenic state, and (c) treatments for the common comorbidities that contribute to disability in people with epilepsy. New therapies also need to address the special needs of certain subpopulations, i.e. age- or gender-specific treatments. Preclinical development in these treatment areas is complex due to heterogeneity in presentation and etiology, and may need to be formulated with a specific seizure, epilepsy syndrome or comorbidity in mind. The aim of this report is to provide a framework that will help define future guidelines that improve and standardize the design, reporting, and validation of data across preclinical anti-epilepsy therapy development studies targeting drug-resistant seizures, epileptogenesis and comorbidities.
Keywords: anti-seizure drug, anti-epileptoegenesis, disease modification, comorbidities, biomarkers