The Epilepsy Project and the Epilepsy Foundation Announce Partnership to Form The Epilepsy Research Foundation

The Epilepsy Project and the Epilepsy Foundation Announce Partnership to Form The Epilepsy Research Foundation

New Foundation Issues Call for Grants to Advance Translational Research and Commercialization of New Therapies

Reston, VA, and Landover, MD

The Epilepsy Project and the Epilepsy Foundation, non-profit organizations dedicated to improving the lives of epilepsy patients, today announced a joint venture to form The Epilepsy Research Foundation (ERF), a national non-profit organization that will focus on expediting breakthrough translational research and the commercialization of new epilepsy therapies. Included in today’s announcement are the introduction of an ERF “New Therapy Grants Program” and a call-for-grant proposals submitted by senior-level scientific and clinical investigators on the brink of new discoveries, working at the nation’s leading academic and research institutions and in industry. The organization plans to issue future calls for New Therapy Grant proposals semi-annually.

Applications for the New Therapy Grants Program should include cutting-edge research proposals with the clear objectives of discovering breakthrough insights into epilepsy and advancing new products from the laboratory to the patient. The peer review for this program will assess proposals based on scientific merit and on the relevance to the goal of the program -- driving the search for new treatments and a cure for epilepsy. The amount of the award will be based on the nature of the work, and will generally range from $100,000 to $200,000 per year. Multi-year awards will also be considered. Due by October 1, 2004, the application for the program can be found on www.epilepsyproject.org/grants.

“The Epilepsy Research Foundation represents an important vehicle for us to further our mission of condensing the time it takes to develop and commercialize new epilepsy therapies to those suffering the devastating effects of the disease,” said May Liang, Executive Director of The Epilepsy Project. “We are gratified by this opportunity to partner with the Epilepsy Foundation. Together, our commitment is to fund projects through The Epilepsy Research Foundation’s New Therapies Grants Program that bring us closer to a cure.”

“We have never been so close to developing a cure for epilepsy,” stated Eric R. Hargis, President and CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation. “The Epilepsy Research Foundation represents a new opportunity for scientists to build on recent progress in this field, and we are pleased, along with The Epilepsy Project, to facilitate meaningful grants to speed their progress.”

The Epilepsy Research Foundation was established to support innovative research leading to new insights into a cure for epilepsy. The primary focus of the New Therapy Grants Program is to bring new approaches and therapies to patients through translational research. With promising new discoveries over the last few years and a greater understanding of epilepsy and seizure development, the two parent organizations, The Epilepsy Project and the Epilepsy Foundation, aim to build on these findings and drive the discovery process into near-future commercial advancements in epilepsy treatments. Pledges to support the Epilepsy Research Foundation will directly fund these research programs; all administrative costs will be covered by the two parent organizations. In an effort to jump-start funding, the new research foundation through generous support, has offered a $1 million matching fund opportunity whereby every donation up to $1 million will be doubled.

More than 2.5 million people in the United States and an estimated 50 million worldwide have epilepsy. In addition, up to ten percent of the population will experience at least one seizure at some time in their lives. While available treatments help many people with epilepsy, they are ineffective for one million Americans, approximately half of whom have persistent seizures under existing therapies, and the remainder experience severely debilitating treatment side effects. Further, people with epilepsy face significant barriers to independence and the enjoyment of life, including such obstacles as limitations on driving, unfair discrimination in school, social stigma, and an unemployment rate five times the national average. Epilepsy’s medical and social cost to Americans each year exceeds $12 billion. The personal cost is incalculable.

About The Epilepsy Research Foundation
The Epilepsy Research Foundation was formed as a joint venture between the Epilepsy Project and the Epilepsy Foundation to fund new, innovative research to speed the search for a cure for epilepsy. Pledges to support the Epilepsy Research Foundation can be extended over a period of up to five years. All money raised will directly fund research programs aimed at discovering a cure for epilepsy and seizures. For further information, or to contribute, please visit www.epilepsyproject.org, www.epilepsyfoundation.org, or contact the Epilepsy Research Foundation at 800-470-1655.

About the Epilepsy Foundation
The Epilepsy Foundation, a national non-profit with affiliated organizations throughout the United States, has led the fight against epilepsy since 1968. The Foundation’s goals are to ensure that people with seizures are able to participate in all life experiences; and to prevent, control and cure epilepsy through research, education, advocacy and services. For additional information, please visit www.epilepsyfoundation.org.

About The Epilepsy Project
The Epilepsy Project is a non-profit organization whose mission is to advance new therapies for people living with epilepsy. Founded in 2002 by a group of parents, distinguished physicians and researchers, The Epilepsy Project supports the research and development of more effective therapies and serves as a catalyst for moving new therapies from the lab to the patient. The organization funds translational research through direct grants. Since its founding, The Epilepsy Project has raised over five million dollars towards its mission. For further information, please visit www.epilepsyproject.org.

Our Mission

The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.

 
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