New avenues for anti-epileptic drug discovery and development

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2013 Oct;12(10):757-76. doi: 10.1038/nrd4126. Epub 2013 Sep 20.


Despite the introduction of over 15 third-generation anti-epileptic drugs, current medications fail to control seizures in 20-30% of patients. However, our understanding of the mechanisms mediating the development of epilepsy and the causes of drug resistance has grown substantially over the past decade, providing opportunities for the discovery and development of more efficacious anti-epileptic and anti-epileptogenic drugs. In this Review we discuss how previous preclinical models and clinical trial designs may have hampered the discovery of better treatments. We propose that future anti-epileptic drug development may be improved through a new joint endeavour between academia and the industry, through the identification and application of tools for new target-driven approaches, and through comparative preclinical proof-of-concept studies and innovative clinical trials designs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticonvulsants / pharmacology
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / methods
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Drug Design
  • Drug Discovery*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical / methods
  • Drug Industry / methods
  • Drug Industry / organization & administration
  • Drug Resistance
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy*
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Research Design


  • Anticonvulsants