Status epilepticus is an emergency situation where an individual experiences a prolonged seizure or multiple seizures one after another without a full recovery.
The current standard of treatment for status epilepticus is to be admitted to the emergency room, where an individual is given an anti-seizure medication – ideally through intravenous (I.V.) injection directly to the bloodstream.
There is a need for fast-acting and easy-to-administer treatments for status epilepticus, which can be given at home or by paramedics. EastGate BioTech Inc. is developing a new drug delivery system – a lorazepam anticonvulsant spray – that will make it possible to deliver small volumes of lorazepam in a form that easily crosses the mucous lining in the nose or mouth and then rapidly enters the bloodstream.
This drug system will be delivered by a specialized oral device that can spray a small volume of lorazepam into the mouth or nose, or onto the lips, for rapid treatment of status epilepticus even when an individual’s teeth are clenched in the midst of a seizure. This spray form of lorazepam can be given at home and may not require an emergency room visit, which would have both health and economic benefits.
Once development is complete, a clinical trial will be organized within the next year in Canada. With the large amount of pre-clinical and clinical data already available on lorazepam, it is hoped that this will lead to expedited clinical trials and ultimately faster results.