Epilepsy Innovation Seal of Excellence


The Epilepsy Innovation Seal of Excellence awards are, like the New Therapy – Commercialization Grants (NTCG) program,, designed to accelerate the advancement of research from the laboratory to the patient. SEALs are provided to academic and commercial groups worldwide. The program seeks to advance the development of new therapies including but not limited to medicines, biologics or devices. All proposals must demonstrate a clear path from the lab to the patient and are evaluated with consideration for their potential value to patients, likelihood of successful development including regulatory approval and the timeframe of development. Drug development may be stimulated at the early phases leading to an IND.

The Epilepsy Innovation Seal of Excellence award is not primarily a grant program. The program provides a competitive, in-depth review by the Scientific and Business Advisory Boards, an actual SEAL that may be used by the awardee to generate interest in the project, and a one-time $5,000 grant for the research. The SEAL is award for one year. The applicants will typically have a research budget of between 1 and $5M for the overall project--amounts that currently exceed the resources of the Epilepsy Foundation. The Epilepsy Foundation will assist the awardees in finding funds for the selected projects.

Epilepsy Innovation Seal of Excellence Award

Applicants must demonstrate background work beyond the basic science discovery stage. Applications are accepted for a wide range of products; projects in drug development must be at least pre-IND, with outstanding promise, usually from animal models.

Areas of interest include:

  • Novel approaches to treatment.
  • Platform technology to advance screening techniques that can be utilized by multiple laboratories, including utility of techniques for early proof-of-concept trials.
  • Adaptation of treatment in development for another therapeutic area to assess utility for epilepsy (while maintaining patent protection).

All proposals will be evaluated by our Business and Scientific Advisory Boards, as described below:

Proposals are rated on the likelihood of success by the Business Advisory Board as:

  1. Intellectual Property Strategy & Status; Freedom To Operate
  2. Can this Get to Patients: Investment Potential & Likelihood of Ongoing Funding Support
  3. Probability of Success / Time Factor
  4. Fit with Program Mission / Patient Impact
  5. Overall Impression

Proposals are rated on the likelihood of success by the Scientific Advisory Board as:

  1. Quality of Science
  2. Probability of Successful completion of milestones / outlined program
  3. Timeframe of Success
  4. Fit with Program Mission / Impact on Patients
  5. Overall Impression

These grants are awarded primarily to programs that have progressed beyond the basic science discovery stage, with the exception of potential drugs, which may be at the pre-IND stage. Investigators of drugs are strongly advised to have their compounds screened, as appropriate, by the NINDS Epilepsy Therapy Screening Program (ETSP). Investigators are expected to have an established record of achievement in the area. Full intellectual property (IP) rights (composition of matter) are preferred over method of use IP. Clinical programs must have a reasonable protocol and sample size to assure that the results will be meaningful; studies of patients should describe the type of seizure/epilepsy that will be investigated. Device programs should present novel concepts for treatment. Applicants should not use the $5,000 prize as the proposed budget, but should apply for the amount needed to complete the project or the project phase. Detailed budgets are encouraged.

Confidential information should NOT be sent to the Epilepsy Foundation or provided in any grant application without advance discussion with the Epilepsy Foundation and only with appropriate confidentiality agreements.

Scientific questions about appropriateness of an application should be directed to grants@efa.org