Epilepsy Therapy Development Project Debuts Moving Documentary with Olympic Medalist Chanda Gunn and Renowned Artist DJ Hapa and

Business Wire via NewsEdge Corporation :

for New Therapies on Monday, November 27th, 6:30 p.m., at The Xchange Business Editors/Health/Medical Writers NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 27, 2006--The Epilepsy Therapy Development Project (Epilepsy TDP), a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing innovative therapies for people afflicted with epilepsy, announced the debut of a powerful documentary focusing on the need for new and effective therapies at an event co-hosted by Finding a Cure for Epilepsy and Seizures (FACES), a non-profit organization affiliated with the NYU Comprehensive Epilepsy Center. The first documentary of its kind to focus on epilepsy, the 30-minute film, "Epilepsy: In Search of Effective Therapies", will begin airing over the next few weeks on local PBS stations across the country, as part of the Healthy Body, Healthy Mind television series produced by Information Television Network. The event, a fundraiser to support research advancing new therapies for people with epilepsy, will be held at Manhattan's spectacular new event space on the Hudson River, The Xchange, on Monday, November 27th at 6:30 p.m., with fare provided by Danny Meyers Hudson Yards Catering.

One of the first comprehensive, educational films to address the topic of epilepsy, the documentary contains medically current information and highlights personal stories that underscore the urgent need for new effective treatments. Several of the speakers appearing in the documentary will participate in the fundraiser along with notable special guests who themselves suffer from epilepsy:

  • Chanda Gunn is the USA Olympic Women's Ice Hockey goaltender, and bronze medal winner of the 2006 Winter Olympics. Besides being a world-renowned athlete, Chanda is the proud spokesperson for the Epilepsy Therapy Development Project and Epilepsy.com. She has lived with epilepsy since she was nine years old and has never let it defeat her. Chanda's story is featured in the documentary.
  • DJ Hapa of the Scratch DJ Academy, well-known on the Hollywood scene and worldwide for his skills on the turntables, first discovered he had epilepsy in high school--where he excelled as a student-athlete and was awarded the highly regarded Regents Scholarship to attend UCLA. DJ Hapa is the first celebrity from the hip-hop community to identify himself with the disease, and is proud to be featured as a national spokesperson for the Epilepsy Therapy Development Project and Epilepsy.com.

In addition, Orrin Devinsky, M.D., Director of the NYU Comprehensive Epilepsy Center and a co-founder of Epilepsy TDP, as well as a featured expert in the documentary, will be available to discuss epilepsy treatment today and the documentary. Additional experts, patients and families of those with epilepsy, will be on hand as well.

"Epilepsy is the most common serious neurological disorder in the world today, affecting fifty million children and adults around the world. We are thrilled to unveil this film created to educate viewers about epilepsy and to support the advancement of new therapies," said Warren Lammert, Co-founder and Chairman of Epilepsy TDP. "We are extremely grateful to Chanda Gunn and DJ Hapa for their candor about living with epilepsy and their support for helping others. There is significant unmet medical urgency for many people with epilepsy, including my own daughter. We are joining together in our dedication to the discovery and development of more effective therapies and finding a cure for this common neurological disorder."

"This is a groundbreaking documentary for the field of epilepsy and this event will support our efforts to raise awareness of the challenges faced everyday by people with epilepsy. It is our goal through this film and event to raise funding for exceptional and innovative therapeutic approaches and to shorten the time it takes to bring a new idea from the development stage to the patient," said Dr. Devinsky. "Epilepsy TDP and FACES hope to soon see new therapies for the 30 percent of those people in the U.S. living with epilepsy who experience persistent seizures despite available therapies and to those who also must live with significant treatment side effects as the price for seizure control," Dr. Devinsky continued.

More information on epilepsy and the documentary can be found on www.epilepsy.com.

About Chanda Gunn

The 2006 US Olympic Women's Hockey goaltender and bronze medalist, Gunn has received numerous awards for her athletic abilities and perseverance. Most recently, Gunn and her US team won the silver at the 2006 Four Nations Cup. She was awarded the Honda Inspiration Award, the Humanitarian Award for college hockey's finest citizen. During her senior year at Northeastern University in Boston, where she started an inner-city youth hockey program, Gunn won the NCAA sportsmanship-of-the-year award for 2003-04. In addition, she was named a finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award for the nation's best women's college hockey player. Further, Gunn helped the US win the silver medal in the 2004 world championships and posted a 0.86 goals-against average. Gunn has been on the USA Women's Ice Hockey team since 2002.

About DJ Hapa

As a DJ, Hapa's versatility is unmatched. The combination of his energy and skills on the turntables and mic has allowed him to rock crowds in Hollywood's top nightclubs like White Lotus, Mood and Prey. His encyclopedic knowledge of all genres of music has given him the opportunity to spin VIP private parties across the nation, including the 2005 NBA All-Star Game in Denver and events for Nike, T-Mobile and Stuff Magazine. With his love for down-tempo music, Hapa also has the ability to bring a sexy vibe to more laid-back, chill atmospheres. Hapa has displayed his wide-ranging style on numerous other occasions, including touring with the 2004 Rock the Vote Tour, and opening up for the likes of Common, Snoop Dogg and Jon B.

About "Epilepsy: In Search of Effective Therapies"

The new 30-minute documentary "Epilepsy: In Search of Effective Therapies" was developed with personal grants from committed individual donors and family foundations and is the first film on epilepsy made expressly for public television. Currently available treatment options that include medications, vagus nerve stimulation, and the ketogenic diet are highlighted. The film also includes personal accounts of living with epilepsy, including the featured story of Chanda Gunn. Through the interviews it becomes clear that people with epilepsy face difficulties and challenges that are compounded when others misunderstand their disorder. "Epilepsy: In Search of Effective Therapies" is also now available for viewing on demand at www.epilepsy.com.


FACES is a non-profit organization affiliated with the NYU Comprehensive Epilepsy Center. Founded in 1996 by Orrin Devinsky, M.D., Director of the NYU Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, FACES' mission is to improve the quality of life for all people affected by epilepsy through research, education and awareness, and community-building events. For further information, please visit www.nyufaces.org.

About the Epilepsy Therapy Development Project

The Epilepsy Therapy Development 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 Therapy Development Project supports the commercialization of new therapies through direct grants and investments in promising academic and commercial projects. The organization has raised over five million dollars towards its mission. For more information, visit www.epilepsytdp.org.

Note to Media Representatives: Please let us know if you are interested in attending this event to make arrangements for interviewing one of our celebrity guests or medical experts. Contact: Susan Pietropaolo, BCC Partners, 845-638-6290 or 201-923-2049 (cell); smpietro@aol.com.

CONTACT: The Epilepsy Therapy Development Project Kim Macher, 540-687-8077 or BCC Partners Karen Bergman, 650-575-1509 or Susan Pietropaolo, 845-638-6290 cell: 201-923-2049 KEYWORD: NEW YORKINDUSTRY KEYWORD: PHARMACEUTICAL TELEVISION/RADIO CABLE MEDICAL MOTION PICTURES PRODUCTSOURCE: The Epilepsy Therapy Development Project

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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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