NEW YORK — A drug made by New York-based biopharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline and manufactured by a company based in California has helped patients with severe seizures in the past, but the latest results could make it the first treatment for seizures that’s more broadly accepted.
The results are published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which reports that the drug, called Nuvigil, is effective in some people with moderate to severe epilepsy.
The drug, which has been approved in more than a dozen countries, was also tested in people with other severe epilepsy, the study found.
The study did not say how long it takes to treat the condition.
New York- based GlaxosmithKline, the maker of the drug Glucocorticoids, said in a statement that it was pleased to have found an innovative new treatment for seizure disorders.
“The results of this study show that Nuvigill, when administered over a short period of time, appears to be well tolerated by the patients who have been taking it, with a minimal impact on seizure frequency and duration,” the statement said.
It also noted that there is no evidence that Nufigil, another treatment for epilepsy, is more effective than the drugs currently being studied.
The drug is made from a combination of Glaxobacteria, a type of bacteria, and Glaxophage, a drug that helps cells of the blood clot.
The two drugs are injected into the brain, where they work by blocking the action of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, according to GlaxoSmithKlinic.
“While we are thrilled with the first clinical trial results, it is important to note that more clinical studies are needed before Nuvigor can be recommended for the treatment of patients with seizure disorders,” the company said in the statement.
In an email to NBC News, the company’s chief executive, John D. Bogle, said the drug is “an exciting discovery for patients and researchers around the world who have had success with previous therapies, but are now looking for new and innovative approaches.”
The company said that while the results were preliminary, “this is a promising opportunity for Nuvigo to reach the largest, most diverse patient population in the world.”
The New York City-based Glaxomay Health Systems is one of several companies that are pursuing Nuvigiil, according a company spokeswoman, who said the company is working with drug development partners to “develop the first commercial NuvIGF for the worldwide market.”
Glaxoplast is the company behind Nuviga, a smaller drug that is not currently on the market.
Other drugs approved for epilepsy include a drug from Pfizer, a biotechnology company that also made Nuvigein, which was approved last year for the epilepsy treatment of severe depression.
Pfizer said it is “very encouraged” by the new findings.