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TMS as a pharmacodynamic indicator of cortical activity of a novel anti-epileptic drug, XEN1101.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Isabella Premoli, Pierre Gilbert Rossini, Paul Y Goldberg, Kristina Posadas, Louise Green, Noah Yogo, Simon Pimstone, Eugenio Cecilio Abela, Gregory N Beatch, Mark Philip Richardson

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2164-2174
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Clinical and Translational Neurology
Issue number11
Early online date30 Sep 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


King's Authors


Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) produces characteristic deflections in the EEG signal named TMS-evoked EEG potentials (TEPs), which can be used to assess drug effects on cortical excitability. TMS can also be used to determine the resting motor threshold (RMT) for eliciting a minimal muscle response, as a biomarker of corticospinal excitability. XEN1101 is a novel potassium channel opener undergoing clinical development for treatment of epilepsy. We used TEPs and RMT to measure the effects of XEN1101 in the human brain, to provide evidence that XEN1101 alters cortical excitability at doses that might be used in future clinical trials.

TMS measurements were incorporated in this Phase I clinical trial to evaluate the extent to which XEN1101 modulates TMS parameters of cortical and corticospinal excitability. TEPs and RMT were collected before and at 2-, 4-, and 6-hours post drug intake in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, two-period crossover study of 20 healthy male volunteers.

Consistent with previous TMS investigations of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) targeting ion channels, the amplitude of TEPs occurring at early (15-55 msec after TMS) and at late (150-250 msec after TMS) latencies were significantly suppressed from baseline by 20 mg of XEN1101. Furthermore, the RMT showed a significant time-dependent increase that correlated with the XEN1101 plasma concentration.

Changes from baseline in TMS measures provided evidence that 20 mg of XEN1101 suppressed cortical and corticospinal excitability, consistent with the effects of other AEDs. These results support the implementation of TMS as a tool to inform early-stage clinical trials.

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