A Partnership Among Two Leading Non-profit Epilepsy Organizations: Epilepsy Foundation and Epilepsy Therapy Project

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Looking back on the progress in the last generation, it is not surprising that the leaders in epilepsy research believe that a cure may be in sight. For the first time, we can think in terms of "cure"—not just "control."  Now is the time to build on the remarkable progress of the past few years. And we can do it by investing more money in scientific research than we ever have before.

The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation - New Therapy Commercialization Grants Program is to drive the development of new therapies for epilepsy, accelerating the advancement of research from the laboratory to the patient. The Foundation funds innovative senior level research projects led by the nation's leading scientists with the potential to discover new treatment options and ultimately a cure.

Epilepsy Foundation - New Therapy Commercialization Grants Program focuses on:

  • Research with potential to discover new therapies and a cure for seizure disorders.
  • Meaningful grants to 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.
  • Innovative cutting edge projects that could lead to breakthrough discoveries.
  • Research programs that might not otherwise be funded through traditional sources.
  • Projects that encourage collaboration among scientists and industry.  Every day, millions of people lose seconds, minutes or hours of their lives to seizures. These precious moments can never be regained. That's why the
  • Epilepsy Foundation - New Therapy Commercialization Grants Program funds research with the potential to discover new treatment options and ultimately a cure. The following are the most recent Epilepsy Foundation - New Therapy Commercialization Grants Program awards:

In May 2004, the Epilepsy Therapy Project announced its inaugural translational research grant recipient awards. The three grant recipients were chosen based on the breakthrough nature of each proposal and the potential to advance new treatments based on solid scientific and research foundations. These grants are unique in that they focus on projects demonstrating a clear path from research in the laboratory to new treatments for epilepsy.

Since the announcement of our inaugural awards, the Epilepsy Therapy Project and the Epilepsy Foundation formed the Epilepsy Foundation - New Therapy Commercialization Grants Program: a joint venture to fund new, innovative translational research to speed the search for new therapies and a cure for epilepsy. The Epilepsy Foundation - New Therapy Commercialization Grants Program focuses strictly on the field of translational epilepsy research and provides resources to accelerate the progress of breakthrough research and new therapies "from the bench to the bedside." The Epilepsy Foundation - New Therapy Commercialization Grants Program solicits grant proposals biannually.

In addition to the above, the Epilepsy Therapy Project supports the commercialization of research originating either in the private or the academic sector in order to facilitate the development of new treatments. The Epilepsy Therapy Project has made and continues to make investments in promising start-up companies with an emphasis on finding new treatments for epilepsy and assists in finding additional sources of funding for such companies.

SPRING 2013 AWARDS

Factors determining placebo response in drug-resistant focal epilepsy

Emilia Bagliella, PhD
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
New York, NY, United States

The magnitude of placebo response is an important factor in the outcome of clinical trials, and an inflated placebo response can obscure true drug-placebo differences.  Failure to demonstrate drug–placebo differences where true differences exist encourages sponsors to terminate drug development programs prematurely, thus preventing patient access to effective treatments.  In this project we propose to analyze a large sample of data to determine the factors that affect placebo response in clinical trials.

Two open-label studies of CBD in Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes

Orrin Devinsky, MD
New York University School of Medicine
New York, NY, United States

This is a joint project to investigate the safety and tolerability of a novel anti-epileptic drug, Cannabidiol (CBD).  Further, the two studies outlined in this proposal will provide a first look at efficacy in seizure control in two severe childhood epilepsy syndromes – Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut.   

MR-guided focused ultrasound for treatment of mesial TLE

Ryder Gwinn,MD
Swedish Neuroscience Institute
Seattle, WA, United States

This project aims to be the world's first clinical investigation of MR-guided focused ultrasound as a potential completely noninvasive and radiation-free treatment alternative for medication refractory patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy.

Minimally invasive mapping and ablation to treat epilepsy

Gregory Worrell, MD, PhD
Mayo Clinic
Rochester, MN, United States

Minimally invasive surgical techniques have revolutionized many areas of medicine; however, open surgery for epilepsy has remained unchanged for decades.  We propose minimally invasive catheter-based methods to replicate excellent outcomes of epilepsy surgery.  Our goals are improved outcomes, lower morbidity, lower cost and greater access to epilepsy diagnosis and treatment.

FALL 2012 AWARDS

HE3286 treatment of drug resistant epilepsy

Clarence Ahlem, M.S.
Vice President
Harbor Therapeutics, Inc.
San Diego, CA, United States

HE3286 is an antiinflammatory drug in clinical trials for other diseases, which may provide a novel treatment for epileptic seizures that are resistant to currently approved drugs. Because brain inflammation is linked to epilepsy, we will test HE3286 in epileptic mice to see if it decreases the number or duration of chronic seizures.

Previous Award Recipients

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