My name is Warren Lammert. At age 10 months, on a Friday afternoon, my now 10 year old daughter Sylvie had a seizure, then a second seizure and then a 30 minute episode of status. Thus began a decade of life punctuated by daily waves of seizures for Sylvie despite the best efforts of compassionate doctors and nurses and trials of every available epilepsy medicine and therapy. In 2000, seeking to learn more about epilepsy, and finding little help on the then emerging internet, I helped co-found epilepsy.com together with Sylvie's doctor Orrin Devinsky and others including our current Editor-in-Chief Dr. Steven Schachter and our former Epilepsy Therapy Project President Joyce Cramer.
Sylvie is not alone in living with uncontrolled epilepsy; of the 3 million people in the US living with epilepsy, approximately one third live with active seizures despite all available therapies and many more achieve control with medications that have unacceptable side-effects. In 2002, Orrin Devinsky and I began a dialogue with two other fathers of young girls living with severe epilepsy (including UC Berkeley Haas School of Business Professor, author and respected student of innovation Hank Chesbrough) about how we could most effectively work to support the development of new therapies.
The Epilepsy Therapy Project is the outcome of that process and has become a leading source of support for translational research and new therapy projects though grants and direct investments. We have now provided financial support as well as scientific and business direction to over 30 promising new therapy projects directly and through our Epilepsy Research Foundation partnership. The Epilepsy Therapy Project continues to support epilepsy.com and epilepsy.com/Professionals in their efforts to provide in-depth information on epilepsy and available therapies and community to patients, families, caregivers and professionals living and working with epilepsy. We have also supported the creation of the Epilepsy Study Consortium (www.epilepsyconsortium.org) to take time and costs out of the clinical trial process; and we provide ongoing support for the two major international meetings on the development of new therapies for epilepsy.
We have an opportunity to make a real difference for Sylvie and for all of the 50 million men, women and children in this country and around the globe living with epilepsy. I hope you will join with me and with our outstanding team of families, patients and scientific, and business experts. With your contributions and support, we can make new therapies a reality in a time frame that matters to those we love.