Dear Friends -
As we send best wishes to each of you and your families for a very Happy Thanksgiving, we are especially thankful to report that it has been another exciting year at the Epilepsy Therapy Project -- and 2010 is not over yet!
Again this fall we received a record number of grant applications. The quality and number of applications are exciting and perhaps even more so is the great diversity of technologies and approaches reflected; these include traditional drugs and biologics, a range of drug delivery approaches, wearable seizure and physiological monitors, and a range of other device and imaging advances. We would love to encourage each of these project teams though with our current resources, we can only support a handful. We are working around the clock to finish the year with another outstanding fourth quarter and increase the resources we can bring to bear in accelerating the best of these creative new therapy initiatives. As you may know, for ETP this is not a theoretical exercise, but a very personal commitment. Our daughters and sons, other loved ones, or we ourselves live daily with the challenges of epilepsy - as do so many of you.
ETP's mission is to make new treatments a reality for the 50 million people throughout the world living with epilepsy and seizures. In the U.S., one million of the 3 million people living with epilepsy suffer 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 3% 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 epilepsy that presents as much as a 9% risk of death in high risk groups over the course of each decade. Epilepsy remains a devastating and unsolved puzzle for far too many people and families.
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. 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.
At ETP, our work to accelerate new therapies into treatments is having an impact. We are heartened that progress is underway. Yet despite this, too many continue to have seizures, too many more experience unacceptable side-effects and too many are lost each year to SUDEP and other epilepsy related causes of death. 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.
Please join us. The first $150,000 raised between now and December 31 will be matched dollar for dollar by 3 anonymous Angel donors. Your help means a great deal to a great many.
Warm regards and best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving.