My daughter continues to live with daily seizures uncontrolled by any available therapy. And so do one third of those with epilepsy who have access to the best available therapies. Perhaps two thirds of those living with epilepsy suffer ongoing seizures or side-effects from the available therapies that are simply unacceptable. New therapies introduced over the last several decades have improved seizure control and side-effects for some, but we have a long way to go to address the serious unmet medical need that exists for the one in 100 individuals living with epilepsy. The Epilepsy Therapy Project is an organization founded by parents of kids with uncontrolled seizures determined to make a difference by supporting the development of new therapies that offer better seizure control and fewer side effects.
Our existing programs are having an impact. Our challenge is to grow in size and scope within our mission. I am thrilled with the grants and investments we have made into carefully selected and promising new therapy projects. Our website, epilepsy.com, has emerged as the leading resource for those seeking in depth information on epilepsy and available therapies and as a vibrant community exchange among those living with and caring for those with epilepsy. The Epilepsy Study Consortium which we have supported is in business and will help take time and costs out of the process of completing clinical trials in epilepsy. We are proud to support the leading world conferences on epilepsy therapy development, bringing together companies, clinical researchers and investors in the epilepsy and broader neurology space.
In 2007, perhaps our most important accomplishment was in our organization, bringing aboard Joyce Cramer as our new President. Building on the foundations provided by past Presidents May Liang and Bill Braunlich, Joyce brings remarkable energy and a knowledge of epilepsy built through a long and productive career in epilepsy research. She knows epilepsy and our community and appreciates the need to accelerate the pace of new therapy development. And she has the right combination of wisdom and impatience to push us to the next level.
Getting to the next level is all about scale and growth. And that means doing a better job of reaching out and telling our story and bringing on board more support. We are funding great projects. But in our current grant cycle, we can provide funds for only four projects out of a fundable set of 23, and we could greatly accelerate the progress of those four most exciting projects with higher award levels. From a platform standpoint, clinical trial recruiting is a major roadblock for new therapy development. With greater funding support, we can use epilepsy.com and the Epilepsy Study Consortium to better connect patients with promising new therapies employing new and more patient friendly trial protocols.
We are thrilled that we can now begin to measure the increase in new therapies entering clinical development. Despite this accomplishment, a third of patients continue to have seizures and many more experience unacceptable side-effects from current treatments—we are far from realizing our goal. That’s what keeps us motivated in supporting the development of more effective and safer therapies.
We could not have achieved these accomplishments in 2007 without the efforts of our devoted supporters and staff. We thank everyone whose work and contributions have helped us evolve and accelerate our programs. Every dollar has been used for our mission—but we need to support these programs and more in 2008 to meet our goals of overcoming the funding gaps and roadblocks that impede the progress of new therapies from the lab to the patient. We look forward to your support in helping us make greater progress against seizures and side-effects in 2008.
Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder