A new medication that is being developed to treat the symptoms of seizures is to be introduced into the United Kingdom soon, according to a report.
The drug will be the first in Europe.
The development was made possible by a partnership between the Medical Research Council and pharmaceutical company Stye.
Stye, based in Cambridge, said it was working with the UK government to create the medication, which it hopes to be able to commercialise by 2019.
It said the development was funded by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
“The MHRA is a statutory regulator and has a statutory responsibility to provide guidance to health authorities and the pharmaceutical industry on the safety, effectiveness and marketing of new medicines,” said Dr John Smith, from Stye’s medical product development department.
“The development of this medication is a major step forward in the development of new epilepsy drugs in the UK.”
Dr Smith said the medication would be given to patients at low doses, but would be “safe and effective”.
He added that the medicine would be made available to doctors at the start of 2019.
Stitch will be selling the medication at pharmacies across the country.
The company said it would also sell the drug to other NHS trusts in the future.
The announcement comes after a review by the MHRA, which said there was a need to “add new options” to prevent the spread of seizure disorders.
A report by the health body last month suggested that the number of children and young people who developed epilepsy during the first 12 months of the year could rise by up to 50% if the current policy did not change.
The MHRA said the company had been able to identify some of the existing medicines, including an anti-seizulant, that were “safe, effective and affordable” and the “solution” was “complementary”.
The drug is being tested on children and adults in the United States and is expected to be available to patients in the autumn.
“While the research and development phase is in its infancy, Stye is confident that with this medication we can provide the UK with a viable, low cost, effective epilepsy treatment option,” said Mark McEvoy, chief executive of Stye UK.