About Research and Funding at Epilepsy Foundation
Epilepsy Foundation Chief Scientific Officer Jacqueline French MD talks about new epilepsy research, funding, and clinical trials.
Epilepsy is broadly underfunded and especially so in the translation of research insights into new therapies.
The Epilepsy Foundation has dedicated a significant part of our mission since our formation in 1968 to ensuring the best and the brightest young investigators get a chance to become involved in epilepsy and seizure research. Our goal was to make sure they built their careers with a focus on epilepsy. As a result, most of the top epilepsy researchers working today have received an Epilepsy Foundation grant early in their careers.
The Board of the Epilepsy Foundation has taken a broad lens to support the best new therapy ideas we could find anywhere in the world. Thus, together with our Board and a long list of amazing parents, friends, and professionals, the Foundation, with the strength of our recent merger with the Epilepsy Therapy Project, has become an organization dedicated to “accelerating ideas into therapies for people living with epilepsy.”
We do not work alone. In addition to contributions from families affected by epilepsy and their friends, partnerships with other organizations focused on improving the lives of people with epilepsy have been critical to the Epilepsy Foundation and the Epilepsy Therapy Project's ability to fund new therapies and have impact. These include critical funding and support from the Milken Family Foundation, from NYU/FACES, and also from unrestricted educational grants from industry to support the development of content on epilepsy.com.
For 10 years prior to the merger, Epilepsy Foundation and Epilepsy Therapy Project partnered to provide 50/50 funding of our New Therapy Grants program.
During that time we provided funding for 38 of the 85 therapies in active development for epilepsy identified now in the epilepsy pipeline. Epilepsy Therapy Project solely funded grants and investments bring the total impact to 45 of the 85. Most exciting is that in the last year, 3 of our EF/ETP funded projects have made it to patients: the Visualase MR guided laser system for epilepsy surgery; the SmartWatch seizure detection and caregiver notification device; and most recently, the non-invasive NeuroSigma eTns stimulator for control of seizures.
Our investment in new therapies and research is 100 percent about bringing better treatments in a timeframe that matters to people living with epilepsy and seizures. It is part of our unwavering commitment to the epilepsy community, and we invite you to help us make a difference.
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