ATLANTA, Nov. 3 UCB, an active participant in the epilepsy community for more than a decade, is proudly launching a variety of patient-centered initiatives in honor of Epilepsy Awareness Month in November. These programs are the culmination of years of experience in the epilepsy community and seek to empower patients, improve epilepsy care, and raise awareness about the condition.
"At UCB, our goal has always been to make a meaningful and lasting difference in the epilepsy community," said Greg Duncan, President North American Operations, UCB Inc. "We are proud to create and sponsor a range of programs and special initiatives that make a genuine impact on the standard of patient care and that foster independence and empowerment for people living with epilepsy."
Several of the new programs expand on UCB's Epilepsy Advocate program. Epilepsy Advocates are a community of real people who share their personal, inspirational stories about living with epilepsy at local events across the country. In honor of Epilepsy Awareness Month, a local Epilepsy Advocate event will be held in Atlanta and will feature special guest speaker Greg Grunberg, star of the hit TV series "Heroes." The event will occur on Thursday, November 12 at the Marriott Perimeter Center at 6:00 PM. Greg's son, Jake, was diagnosed with epilepsy at age seven. Since Jake's diagnosis, Greg has become Jake's own personal hero by being an advocate for Jake and others living with the condition. Atlanta neurologist Dr. Thomas Holmes will also speak about epilepsy and treatment options.
By sharing their success stories, Epilepsy Advocates help encourage other people affected by epilepsy to seek better care and make positive changes in their lives. In addition to reaching people in their hometowns, the Epilepsy Advocate program is now available on Facebook and through a new online radio show, both of which can be accessed at www.facebook.com/epilepsyadvocate.
UCB employees will show their personal commitment to the epilepsy community at the annual UCB Epilepsy Fun Run. The Fun Run will take place on the UCB campus in Smyrna on Friday, November 13. For the third year in a row, UCB employees will run or walk a 5K (3.2 miles) to raise money for the Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia. UCB, a biopharmaceutical company, has had U.S. headquarters in Georgia since 1995 and employs almost 400 people on its Smyrna campus.
UCB provides support for patients and healthcare providers throughout the year
Following is additional information about UCB's epilepsy support programs:
Epilepsy Advocate. Beginning in 2006 with 18 Advocates, The Epilepsy Advocate program has grown to include almost 70 Advocates. In 2008, Epilepsy Advocates participated in almost 100 local events across the U.S. Epilepsy Advocate magazine is also widely read in the epilepsy community, with a readership of 100,000. Visit www.epilepsyadvocate.com for more information.
UCB Family Epilepsy Scholarship Program. Since 2005, UCB has awarded more than 150 scholarships, totaling almost $1 million in educational support. Scholarships are awarded to anyone living with epilepsy, caregivers, or family members seeking higher education opportunities. This year's winners will be honored on a new Facebook page, available at Facebook.com/UCBEpilepsyScholarship.
Canine Assistants. UCB has been the exclusive sponsor of Canine Assistants seizure response dogs since 2005, providing substantial monetary support to sponsor seizure response dogs for people who need them. The cost of one service dog is nearly $20,000, which covers the in-depth training, ongoing support and veterinarian care for the life of the dog. This funding has helped place service dogs with individuals living with epilepsy throughout the United States.
Epilepsy Classroom(TM). This online resource was created by a neurologist and an experienced educator, with support from UCB, to provide teachers with important materials to manage and discuss epilepsy in their classrooms.
Neurology Residents Scholar Program(TM). This interactive program is designed to enhance the education of third-year neurology residents and provide them with in-depth information about epilepsy. The annual course includes case reviews, didactic sessions, and workshops that provide practical, real-world education.
Donald M. Palatucci Advocacy Leadership Forum. Established in 2003 by the American Academy of Neurology, this program is sponsored exclusively by UCB. The program is designed to educate and empower practicing neurologists to advocate on behalf of their patients.
J. Kiffin Penry Pediatric and Adult Epilepsy Education Programs. UCB sponsors these multi-day educational epilepsy programs with tracks specifically designed for neurology residents, fellows, and practicing child neurologists.
Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder affecting approximately 50 million people worldwide and three million people in the U.S. -- making it more common than multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease combined. It is caused by abnormal, excessive electrical discharges of the nerve cells, or neurons, in the brain. Epilepsy is characterized by a tendency to have recurrent seizures and is defined by two or more unprovoked seizures. There are many different seizure types and epileptic syndromes. Roughly 20-30 percent of people living with epilepsy have either uncontrolled seizures or significant side effects secondary to medication. This highlights the ongoing need for the development of new epilepsy therapies. For more information about epilepsy, visit www.EpilepsyAdvocate.com.
UCB, Brussels, Belgium (www.ucb.com) is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the research, development and commercialization of innovative medicines with a focus on the fields of central nervous system, immunology disorders and respiratory conditions. Employing approximately 10,000 people in more than 40 countries, UCB produced revenue of 3.6 billion euro in 2008. UCB is listed on the Euronext Brussels (symbol: UCB). U.S. headquarters is located in Atlanta, Ga. For more information on UCB in the U.S., please visit www.ucb-usa.com.
The Epilepsy Company, Epilepsy Advocate, UCB Family Epilepsy Scholarship Program((TM)), Epilepsy Classroom, and Neurology Residents Scholar Program(TM) are trademarks of the UCB group of companies.
Andrea Levin, Public Relations Manager, CNS, UCB, Inc.
O: 770-970-8352 / M: 404-483-7329 / E: [email protected]