UNION CITY, Calif., July 27 Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOR) today announced that it has joined with the Child Neurology Foundation (CNF) to officially support the creation of Infantile Spasms (IS) Awareness Week. The first annual IS Awareness Week will take place the week of October 11-17, 2009, in conjunction with the Child Neurology Society (CNS) Annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, October 14-17, 2009.
"Questcor is very passionate about working with CNF to establish this important educational effort," said Steve Cartt, Executive Vice President for Questcor. The goal of IS Awareness Week is to provide pediatricians, child neurologists, parents and caregivers with objective educational tools which will increase awareness and understanding of infantile spasms. Early and aggressive treatment of IS can impact the prognosis of infants diagnosed with IS.
"The creation of IS Awareness Week will facilitate increased awareness and understanding of infantile spasms, a disease where time is of the essence when it comes to diagnosis and treatment," said John Stone, executive director of the Child Neurology Foundation.
"I am looking forward to the launch of IS Awareness Week. So often, rare diseases such as infantile spasms are overlooked. This important initiative from the CNF and Questcor will help to ensure that child neurologists have an increased awareness and understanding of IS and it will also make much needed educational materials available to the parents of infants afflicted with IS," said Dr. John Bodensteiner, president of the Child Neurology Society.
About Infantile Spasms
Infantile spasms (a.k.a. West Syndrome) is a severe, ultra-rare form of epilepsy that typically begins in infancy. It is estimated that there are fewer than 2,000 new cases of IS in the United States each year, giving IS orphan disease designation. Infantile spasms typically occur in the first year of life, often beginning between three to six months of age. Infantile spasms is characterized by head drops with associated outstretched arms. (These spasms have also been described as nodding, salaam seizures, and jackknife seizures.) Often, in the beginning, the attacks are brief, infrequent and not typical, so it is quite common for the diagnosis to be delayed. Frequently, due to the pattern of the attacks and the cry that a child gives during or after an attack, the attacks are initially thought to be due to colic or gastric distress.
About the Child Neurology Foundation
Founded in October 2000, the Child Neurology Foundation was created as the outreach and philanthropic arm of the Child Neurology Society. Members of the CNS include more than 1,300 child neurologists from the United States, Canada, as well as more than 30 other countries around the world.
The Foundation's mission is to advocate for children and adolescents with neurologic and developmental disorders; fund neurologic research of young investigators; promote awareness of career opportunities in child neurology; provide public, professional, and patient education programs; and support the activities and mission of the CNS.
For more information on the CNF, please visit www.childneurologyfoundation.org.
About Questcor Pharmaceuticals
Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a pharmaceutical company that markets two commercial products, H.P. Acthar((R)) Gel (repository corticotropin injection) and Doral((R)) (quazepam tablets, USP). Acthar is an injectable drug that is approved for the treatment of certain disorders with an inflammatory component, including the treatment of exacerbations associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) and to induce a diuresis or a remission of proteinuria in the nephrotic syndrome without uremia of the idiopathic type or that due to lupus erythamatosus. Acthar is not approved for, but is used in treating patients with infantile spasms, an ultra-rare form of refractory childhood epilepsy, and opsoclonus myoclonus syndrome, a rare autoimmune-related childhood neurological disorder. Questcor is currently pursuing U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for Acthar in the treatment of infantile spasms. Previously, the FDA granted Orphan Designation to Acthar for the treatment of IS. Doral is indicated for the treatment of insomnia characterized by difficulty in falling asleep, frequent nocturnal awakenings, and/or early morning awakenings.
In recent years, Questcor has made significant business changes to provide comprehensive support and ensure access to Acthar for those patients who critically need it. These changes include making heavy investments in manufacturing upgrades to ensure the continuous and reliable availability of Acthar and creating and continuing to support the Acthar Support and Access Program (ASAP) to ensure that patients get quick and dependable access to Acthar. Questcor's patient support programs are administered by the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) and have now provided co-pay financial assistance and free drug with commercial value of over $26 million to patients since September 2007. Additionally, the Company continues to invest substantial funds and resources in research, education, and support of patients living with CNS disorders.
For more information, please visit www.questcor.com.
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SOURCE Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc.