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UCB And Emory Partner To Address Pressing Public Health Issues For People Living With Epilepsy

ATLANTA, March 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A research collaboration to analyze the clinical factors that impact epilepsy care and outcomes was announced today by the Department of Neurology at Emory University School of Medicine and UCB, a leading biopharmaceutical company. This work is part of an innovative research collaboration that seeks to identify factors and approaches that achieve optimal response in epilepsy patients.

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder defined as two or more unprovoked seizures. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, epilepsy is one of the most common diseases of the central nervous system, and it affects more than 2 million people in the United States.  Importantly, one in 26 people in the United States will develop epilepsy at some point in their lifetime.  A recent special issue of The Lancet highlighted the significant unmet medical needs in epilepsy and called on public health officials to treat this disease as a global health priority.

"This research collaboration is an opportunity to use real world, patient-level data to address a critical need for the epilepsy community," said study lead Sandra Helmers, M.D., M.P.H., professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at Emory. "Once we can identify the most important drivers of epilepsy outcomes, we can address gaps that exist today and provide better care for people living with epilepsy."

This collaboration, which is modeled after similar academia and industry drug discovery collaborations, focuses on real world disease and subsequent clinical and economic health outcomes. In the first project, investigators will use de-identified patient-level data from an administrative claims database to better understand characteristics of people living with epilepsy, including demographics.

Dr. Helmers is joined by researchers Edward Faught, M.D., and David Thurman M.D., M.P.H., of the Emory University Department of Neurology. All represent Emory on the research collaboration's joint steering committee, which also includes three members from UCB representing corporate affairs, health economics and outcomes research, and medical affairs. The Rollins School of Public Health Biostatistics Consulting Center, which specializes in comprehensive statistical consultation and computational services, will support the investigators in their analysis.

"UCB values an open innovation model where we can partner with leading scientists and academic institutions to provide solutions for the patients we serve," said Patty Fritz, Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Operations, UCB, and joint steering committee member. "We are fortunate to be working with epilepsy experts at nearby Emory University on research that we hope will reveal new, evidence-based opportunities to raise the standard of care in epilepsy within a constantly evolving healthcare environment."

For Further Information

Andrea Levin, Associate Director, Public Relations and Communications, UCB, Inc. 770.970.8352, Andrea.Levin@ucb.com  

Kathi Baker, Associate Director, Media Relations, Emory Healthcare 404.727.9371, kobaker@emory.edu

About Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder affecting approximately 65 million people worldwide and 2.3 million people in the U.S.—making it more common than autism, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease combined. Anyone can develop epilepsy; it occurs across all ages, races and genders and is defined as two or more unprovoked seizures. More than 1 million patients in the U.S. continue to have seizures despite initial therapy.

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