On May 17, global pharmaceutical company Teva announced the results of the recently completed trial of Talampanel for people with ALS. The results were conclusively negative.
The ALS Functional Rating scale, a tool instrument used to assess changes in physical functioning in people with ALS over time, was the primary outcome measure; both this measure and the other measures investigated showed no difference in the rate of progression in participants with ALS treated with placebo or either of 2 doses of the study medication. While there were more side effects seen in participants treated with the Talampanel, the dropout rates were very similar in all groups, making the negative results more convincing.
While this is a very disappointing result for patients, caregivers, and physicians, the convincing nature of the results provides a clear answer to the effectiveness of this treatment for people with ALS. Fortunately, there are many other promising drugs now being tested; it is important for all to remain hopeful and committed to finding improved therapies for ALS.
Thanks are due to the patients who participated in the study, as well as to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. for funding the study and the clinical investigators who worked so diligently to provide high quality data so that a clear result was obtained.