Despite medication, approximately 40% of people with epilepsy do not achieve seizure freedom after two different anti-seizure medications.1, 2
Nevertheless, they persevere.

At Arvelle, we are committed to helping those affected by epilepsy. We aspire to do this by making innovative therapies available to more patients.

What is epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a serious, chronic and debilitating neurological disease affecting people of all ages, races and socio-economic classes.3
It is characterised by recurrent unprovoked seizures, that result from a disruption in the normal balance of electrical signals in the brain.4

Epilepsy is defined by any of the following conditions:5

  • At least two unprovoked seizures occurring >24 hours apart
  • One unprovoked seizure and a high chance of further seizures
  • Diagnosis of an epilepsy syndrome

Prevalence of epilepsy

Up to 2% of people worldwide have epilepsy, making it one of the most common serious neurological diseases.6

  • It is more common in low and middle-income countries 3, 7
  • Approximately 6 million people in Europe are affected by epilepsy 8
  • Most commonly, people develop epilepsy in early childhood and late adulthood 9

ILAE classifies epilepsy into 4 types:10

  • focal epilepsy

    Focal epilepsy is characterised by epileptic seizures that start in one hemisphere of the brain.

  • generalised epilepsy

    Generalised epilepsy is characterised by seizures that originate in both hemispheres of the brain simultaneously.

  • combined generalised and focal epilepsy

    Combined generalised and focal epilepsy is when patients experience both focal and generalised seizures (common examples in which both types of seizures occur are Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome).

  • unknown epilepsy

    If a person has epilepsy and experiences seizures, but it is not possible to determine where the seizure originates in the brain, doctors categorise it as unknown epilepsy.


Focal-onset seizures account for over 60% of all epilepsy cases and are more often uncontrolled (not fully responsive to treatment) compared to patients with generalised seizures.11, 12

The effects of epilepsy

An epilepsy diagnosis can affect many aspects of a person’s life, including physical, psychological and social challenges that impact self-esteem, family, relationships, leisure, work, career prospects and the ability to drive.3, 13

People with epilepsy whose seizures are poorly controlled often experience related medical conditions, social stigmatisation, psychological dysfunction and reduced quality of life.14, 15
Thankfully, successful treatment may reduce or even eliminate many of these negative effects.

Isolated and stigmatised by society16, 17
Limitations in education and work16, 17
Excluded from social interactions and relationships16, 17

Reducing seizure frequency or even eliminating seizures altogether can have great benefits for people with uncontrolled epilepsy.18, 19

However, finding a successful treatment can be challenging.


Anti-seizure medications

Despite the many anti-seizure medications (ASMs) with different mechanisms of action introduced in the last 15 years, things remain uncertain for many people with epilepsy.1, 2

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Limited improvement

There is a recognised need for more effective treatments which can improve patient lives.14, 17, 20

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Drug resistance

Approximately 40% of patients with epilepsy are drug resistant* after two different ASMs.1, 2

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Reduced probability of treatment success

With every unsuccessful ASM, the probability of seizure freedom** diminishes significantly.1

* Defined by ILAE as failure of two appropriately selected, used and
tolerated anti-seizure medication regimens.
** Defined as being free from seizures for ≥12 months.1

The main goal of treatment is to reduce seizures and ultimately enable people with epilepsy to live as free of seizures as possible.18, 19, 21

    1. Chen Z, et al. JAMA Neurol. 2018;75(3):279–286.
    2. Kwan P and Brodie MJ. N Engl J Med. 2000;342(5):314–319.
    3. Epilepsy: a public health imperative. Summary. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2019. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
    4. Scharfman HE. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2007;7(4):348–354.
    5. Fisher RS, et al. Epilepsia. 2014;55(4):475–482.
    6. Chung S, et al. Seizure. 2007;16(4):296‒304.
    7. ILAE/IBE/WHO. Global Campaign Against Epilepsy: Out of the Shadows. 2003. Retrieved 10/13/2020, from
    8. Cross JH. Epilepsia. 2011;52(1):187–188.
    9. Fiest KM, et al. Neurology. 2017;88(3):296–303.
    10. Scheffer IE, et al. Epilepsia. 2017;58(4):512–521.
    11. Schmitz B, et al. Epilepsia. 2010;51(11):2231–2240.
    12. Cockerell OC, et al. Epilepsia. 1997;38(1):31–46.
    13. Kaiser S, et al. Seizure. 2002;11(6):356–360.
    14. Engel J. Neurology. 2003;60(9):1412.
    15. Engel J. Ann Indian Acad Neurol. 2014;17(Suppl 1):S12–17.
    16. de Boer HM, et al. Epilepsy Behav. 2008;12(4):540–546.
    17. Laxer KD, et al. Epilepsy Behav. 2014;37:59–70.
    18. Choi H, et al. Epilepsia. 2014;55(8):1205–1212.
    19. CHMP, EMA. Guideline on clinical investigation of medicinal products in the treatment of epileptic disorders. July 2018. CHMP/EWP/566/98 Rev.3.
    20. French J. Epilepsia. 2007;48(Suppl 1):3–7.
    21. Poochikian-Sarkissian S, et al. Can J Neurol Sci. 2008;35(3):280–286.