MIDDLEBURG, Va., Aug. 23--The Epilepsy Therapy Project (ETP) and the Epilepsy Foundation today announced the latest grant recipients of its New Therapy Grants Program, a unique joint venture of the nonprofit epilepsy organizations, to advance promising epilepsy research in clinical development.  The grant awards, totaling approximately $200,000 in funding, will support an experimental gene therapy that directly targets epileptogenic brain tissue, as well as an electrode system that has the potential to improve the efficacy of surgical therapies for certain epilepsy syndromes.

"Patients need new options to treat and manage epilepsy, and through this grant program we are excited to see such remarkable innovation in the field.  The fields of gene therapy and surgical treatment of epilepsy remain cutting-edge with much to be explored in terms of advancing epilepsy treatment outcomes," said Orrin Devinsky, M.D., ETP co-founder and vice president for translational programs, professor of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry, and director, NYU Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, New York University.  "By choosing to support these two promising programs, we hope to see important strides made while encouraging researchers and companies to pursue new ideas and approaches in epilepsy and seizure conditions."

The New Therapy Grants program grants are designated to facilitate the advancement of new treatments through critical early-stage clinical development or to bridge the gap from preclinical to clinical development to ensure patients will have the opportunity to benefit from groundbreaking progress in the field of epilepsy. The award committee, which is comprised of clinical, scientific and industry representatives, evaluates applications to support new therapeutic approaches submitted by highly qualified clinical experts and scientists with the greatest potential for near-term patient benefit.

"The need and market opportunity for new therapies in epilepsy is unmistakable," said Warren Lammert, chairman of the Epilepsy Therapy Project.

"These research projects represent the essence of translational research and the focus of our New Therapy Grants Program," said Joyce Bender, chair of the Epilepsy Foundation board of directors.  "We proudly applaud our grant recipients because their studies may provide new treatment options, which could lead to an improved quality of life for the nearly 3 million people in the United States and 50 million people worldwide living with epilepsy."

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