WINNER NUMBER ONE:
The first $25,000 EPILEPSY INNOVATION SEAL OF EXCELLENCE award is made by the Epilepsy Foundation to AurimMed Pharma (www.aurimmed.com) for the anticipated development of their lead compound, AMP-X-0079. The need is for $1.9M to bring this potential drug to the Investigational New Drug (IND) stage of clinical development. The Advisory Committees were enthusiastic for several reasons: 1) The privileged structure platform modifies successful, marketed anti-seizure drugs as the starting point for the new compound which decreases the risk of unexpected toxicities and increases the probability of a successful drug, 2) Although the program starts with familiar chemical backbones, the resulting compound appears to have a new and novel mechanism of action, 3) The lead compound has a very favorable profile in the Anticonvulsant Screening Program, and 4) the patent status is secure. The Foundation team recognizes that successfully achieving an FDA-accepted IND will greatly enhance the value of the potential drug to partners from many possible sources--including venture capital and larger pharmaceutical companies.
WINNER NUMBER TWO:
The second $25,000 SEAL OF EXCELLENCE award is made by the Epilepsy Foundation to Hovding (www.hovding.com/en/how). The need is for $4M to adapt the first “invisible” bicycle helmet to the needs of patients with epilepsy. The current Hövding is a unique bicycle helmet; it complies with European safety requirements. Hövding is a collar, worn around the neck, which contains a folded airbag. The airbag, when inflated, is shaped like a hood; it surrounds and protects the bicyclist's head. The trigger mechanism is activated by sensors that detect the abnormal movements of a bicyclist in an accident. The collar is covered by a removable shell that can be changed by the user to a variety of styles. The owners of Hovding are now repeatedly approached by persons with epilepsy who wish to use the helmet for head protection. Unfortunately the device is expensive and is for single use only. Making a reusable helmet is a substantial hurdle, as is the adaptation of the device for persons with epilepsy. A successful version could greatly decrease the severity of head injuries that plague seizure disorders.