Drug Development Research Update – Dr. Michael Poulter

Before we get to today's research update, we wanted to let you know that on Thursday June 8, 2017 Epilepsy Ontario will be hosting its 4th Annual Summer Boat Cruise! This is a scenic 4-hour cruise on Lake Ontario. Tickets are $70 and include dinner, music, a silent auction and raffle / penny item sale along with 50/50 tickets and door prizes. A cash bar will also be available throughout the evening. Spend a lovely night on the lake and support a great cause! Tickets can be purchased online at www.universe.com/2017sailaway or by calling the Epilepsy Ontario office at 905-474-9696.

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In September 2014, Owen Barry Pharmaceuticals (OB Pharma) was launched with funding support from the Ontario Brain Institute, as well as from private investors. OB Pharma’s research is directed by Professor Michael O. Poulter at the Robarts Research Institute at Western University in London, Ontario. The goal of OB Pharma is to produce new and improved anti-seizure medications that can stop seizures without the side effects commonly seen in standard anti-epileptic drugs.

To date, OB Pharma has produced and tested over 90 chemical compounds that can potentially be developed into new medications. This research has led to the filing of two U.S. and worldwide patents for two unique chemical families of compounds. One of these potential drugs has shown positive effects in an animal model of temporal lobe epilepsy, where it has been able to successfully stop the development of complex partial seizures without producing any noticeable side effects. In addition, this compound is able to block seizure activity after the brain is injured, which suggests that it might prevent epilepsy from developing after a head injury.

Currently, OB Pharma is looking for industry partners to support this research. Further testing is required to see if this new compound could be developed into a new kind of anti-seizure medication. The company hopes to have a clinical trial underway by late 2018.

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