Washington, DC, December 26, 2012 – The Epilepsy Foundation (EF) and the Epilepsy Therapy Project (ETP) announced today that their Boards of Directors have unanimously approved the merger of the two organizations.
The new organization, known as the Epilepsy Foundation, will fight for more than two million Americans and their families living with epilepsy today and the one in 26 Americans who will develop epilepsy at some point in their lives.The new mission of the Foundation is to stop seizures and SUDEP, find a cure and overcome the challenges created by epilepsy through efforts including education, advocacy and research to accelerate ideas into therapies.This strategic merger of the EF and ETP has garnered tremendous support from leaders in the healthcare advocacy and research communities.
"The Epilepsy Community has an obligation and now an opportunity to step forward with a strong unified voice to bring greater resources to bear at the national and at the local level to improve the lives of people with epilepsy" said Warren Lammert, Chairman and co-founder of the Epilepsy Therapy Project. "The merger of the EF and ETP creates an opportunity, working together with the 47 local affiliates of the Epilepsy Foundation, to be make a real difference through a comprehensive agenda that includes education, advocacy, awareness, local services and supporting research and the development of new therapies in a time frame that matters to people living with epilepsy today.
"Across all diseases and life-threatening conditions, patient-focused organizations – and patients themselves – are leading the way toward better treatments," said Michael Milken, chairman of FasterCures."The merged resources of the Epilepsy Therapy Project and the Epilepsy Foundation will give individuals living with the condition – and their families – an even stronger advocate and partner working to accelerate research and discovery."Since 1998, the Milken Family Foundation has worked alongside the Epilepsy Therapy Project and the Epilepsy Foundation, providing funding to young investigators focused on developing more effective treatments for the condition.
Under the agreement, the Epilepsy Therapy Project will continue supporting scientific and clinical research with an emphasis on translational medicine and new product development under the Epilepsy Foundation umbrella.Phil Gattone, EF President and CEO, will continue to lead the Epilepsy Foundation. Warren Lammert, ETP Chairman and Co-founder, will serve on the board of directors of the new organization and play a crucial role during the merger transition period.Members of both boards, representing some of the most renowned researchers and practitioners in epilepsy, will hold seats on a newly formed board of directors.The award-winning patient care website www.epilepsy.com will serve as the premier source of accurate information regarding epilepsy and seizures.The new organization will be headquartered in Landover, MD with 48 regional affiliate offices located throughout the United States.
"Epilepsy is more prevalent than autism, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and Parkinson's disease combined – and takes thousands of lives each year. This is why we need to advance the cause of epilepsy together and forcefully," said Gattone, also the father of a child with epilepsy. "This Foundation and our affiliates are at the forefront of transforming how we comprehend, treat and support people with epilepsy – from government lobbying at the national level to supporting the child and family in your community.Our affiliated chapters around the country provide free services to all. We are dedicated to helping address the public health dimensions associated with seizure disorders, including access to care, challenges in school, Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) and other devastating consequences of uncontrolled seizures, furthering opportunities for gainful employment and independent living."
The new Epilepsy Foundation brings together the mission and assets of both organizations:
•epilepsy.com, the leading portal for people, caregivers and professionals dealing with epilepsy;
•48 affiliated Epilepsy Foundations around the country dedicated to providing free programs and services to people living with epilepsy and their loved ones;
•Scientific, Professional and Business Advisory Boards comprised of leading epilepsy physicians, health care professionals and researchers, industry professionals and investors with experience in clinical care, as well as in the evaluation and commercialization of new therapies;
•A track record of identifying and supporting important new science, translational research programs, and the most promising new therapies;
•The Epilepsy Pipeline Conference, a leading global forum organized in partnership with the Epilepsy Study Consortium that showcases the most exciting new drugs, devices and therapies, and includes the Epilepsy Shark Tank; and
•A professional advocacy network focused on increasing epilepsy government and military funding and initiatives at the federal, state and local levels.
When a person has two or more unprovoked seizures, they have epilepsy, which affects nearly three million people in the United States and 65 million people worldwide. This year, another 200,000 people in our country will be diagnosed with epilepsy. Despite all available treatments, 30 to 40 percent of people with epilepsy continue to experience uncontrolled seizures while many more experience less than optimal seizure control.
About the New Epilepsy Foundation
The Epilepsy Foundation, a national nonprofit with affiliated organizations throughout the United States, has led the fight against epilepsy since 1968. The Foundation's mission is to stop seizures, find cures and overcome the challenges created by epilepsy.
The Epilepsy Therapy Project was founded in 2002 by a group of parents, distinguished physicians, and researchers to support the commercialization of new therapies through direct grants and investments in promising academic and commercial projects.
The new organization, known as the Epilepsy Foundation, will have unparalleled reach and leadership through a nationwide supportive care network, broad-based public awareness, education and focus on accelerating the clinical development of innovative therapies for people with epilepsy.