Happy Holidays! 2009 has been another exciting year at the Epilepsy Therapy Project. We have worked hard to build to a crescendo of progress and want to share with you a few of the highlights of our outstanding fourth quarter.
First, we proudly launched “My Epilepsy Diary” and are delighted to be able to share (at no cost) this newest tool with epilepsy patients, families and doctors to help improve the control and management of epilepsy and seizures. ETP also successfully completed a targeted raise of $100,000 in September to help NeuroTherapeutics Pharma, Inc. bridge a critical junction; NTP is working to bring a new drug candidate (and class of therapy based on a new mechanism of action) into human clinical trials and to complete a significant long term round of financing. And, just earlier this month we announced two grants totaling nearly $250,000 to support two more promising new pharmaceutical therapies. The first novel agent, 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2DG), pursues a mechanism that may explain the therapeutic success established by the ketogenic diet. The compound has already been shown to be safe in humans and so will move quickly into early proof of efficacy trials. The second is an IV formulation of an established AED that could be of particular value in the treatment of newborns with seizure disorders. You can learn more about My Epilepsy Diary or any of our ETP research awards here on the epilepsy.com website.
Notwithstanding ETP’s efforts, funding today for new therapies remains systemically, structurally and unacceptably limited. Insufficient government, philanthropic and commercial resources are available. The financial challenges facing academic and industry labs and enterprises create a barrier that impedes the progress of promising research ideas from the lab along to a commercial pathway that can turn these ideas into therapies for patients. ETP grants, investments and programs are designed to accelerate the most important new research through critical junctures in a leveraged manner working with partners. We seek to achieve the greatest possible impact with every dollar invested. And in today’s financial environment, ETP’s role has never been more important.
Our mission is to make new treatments a reality for the 50 million people throughout the world and the 3 million people in the U.S. living with epilepsy and seizures. In the U.S. alone, one in three of these 3 million people suffers persistent seizures despite all available therapies. You or a loved one may be one of the 3 million, or among the one in three with uncontrolled seizures. Many others tolerate serious side effects, including fatigue and diminished cognitive function, as the price of seizure control. One out of every ten among us will have a seizure and three percent will have multiple unprovoked seizures (epilepsy) over their lifetime. SUDEP or Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy is a startling and too little discussed reality for those with uncontrolled epilepsy that presents a 20% risk of death over the course of each decade. Epilepsy remains a devastating and unsolved puzzle for far too many people and families.
At ETP, our commitment and dedication to accelerate new therapies into treatments is having an impact. We are thrilled and proud that measurable progress is underway. Yet despite this progress, too many patients still continue to have seizures, too many more experience unacceptable side-effects and too many are lost each year to SUDEP. Only work to accelerate the development of more effective and safer treatments can make time a friend and not an enemy of the patients and
families living with epilepsy and seizures.
As we turn our efforts and attention to 2010, we are thank you and urge you onward. Your help means a great deal to a great many.
With deep gratitude and warmest wishes for a happy holiday season,
Chairman and Co-Founder
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