Anticonvulsant Drug Discovery


The Anticonvulsant Drug Development (ADD) Program is an established laboratory experienced in the preclinical identification and evaluation of investigational compounds for the treatment of epilepsy. Current investigators at the program have held multiple contracts with biopharmaceutical and government partners for testing of novel compounds in seizure models. The program has considerable experience in performing efficacy and tolerability assessments of novel and established antiseizure drugs (ASDs) using multiple routes of administration [intraperitoneal (i.p.), intravenous (i.v.), oral (per os, p.o.), subcutaneous (s.c.), intramuscular (i.m.), and intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.)] in models for epilepsy.


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The models we offer include maximal electroshock (MES)-induced seizure, 6 Hz seizure (varying stimulus intensities), corneal kindled seizure test, in vitro slice electrophysiology studies (spontaneous bursting model), lamotrigine-resistant amygdala kindled model, and the post kainate-induced status epilepticus (SE) chronically epileptic model. In parallel, our staff routinely evaluates the effect of investigational compounds on motor impairment in the rotarod test, the open field locomotor assay, the minimal motor impairment (MMI) assay, and the modified Functional Observation Battery (FOB, or Irwin test). Our facilities include state of the art multi-channel monitoring units to allow for continuous video-electroencephalographic (v-EEG) monitoring for spontaneous seizures.

We also offer chronic administration of any compound to rats or mice using a drug-in-food model. Using our automated feeder system, drugs can be delivered on a fixed schedule, 24/7 for any requested length of time. Food pellets containing compound are formulated either by outsourcing or can be custom made in-house. Prices will be determined based on the requirements of the planned study.


Referencing us

We acknowledge the Anticonvulsant Drug Development Program at the University of Utah for performing (insert list)


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The team:

Karen Wilcox, Ph.D.

Cameron Metcalf, Ph.D.
Associate Director

Kristy Johnson

Laboratory Manager


Vanja Panic, Ph.D.
Senior Research Analyst

Misty Smith, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor

Peter West, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor

Elisa Koehler
Project Administrator