LANDOVER, Md., May 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The Epilepsy Foundation tonight honors UCB -- a global biopharmaceutical company -- with its annual Distinguished Achievement Award for a series of innovative programs that provide epilepsy patients and their families with emotional, social and physical support to help them live normal lives. John O'Hurley, star of the Broadway production Chicago and winner of ABC's Dancing with the Stars, will present the award during a ceremony at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers, New York City, tonight at 6:30 PM EDT.
Roch Doliveux, CEO of UCB, will accept the award at tonight's benefit, which is expected to raise over $700,000 for the Epilepsy Foundation. Proceeds will support epilepsy services and research into new treatments and cures.
"We are pleased to honor UCB for its dedicated services to improve the quality of life for people with epilepsy," said Eric R. Hargis, president and CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation. "UCB is to be applauded for its innovative programs which bring help and hope to people with epilepsy and their caregivers."
UCB has created the H.O.P.E Mentoring program in conjunction with the Epilepsy Foundation which trains epilepsy patients to help other epilepsy sufferers. It has sponsored the Keppra Family Epilepsy Scholarship Program to provide scholarships to both caregivers and epilepsy patients wanting to further their education. Its Patient Ambassador Program trains epilepsy patients to conduct community education and advocacy work. Last year, it began underwriting the Canine Assistants' program to train seizure-response dogs to assist epilepsy patients.
UCB, headquartered in Atlanta, GA, are the makers of a leading second-generation treatment for epilepsy in adults and children older than 4 years of age. Additionally, the company has two compounds in development for the treatment of epilepsy.
"UCB is a company that is truly inspired and motivated to develop new treatments for patients with epilepsy," said Doliveux, who joined UCB in 2003 and has led the company for the last 16 months. "No one should have to suffer through the mental and physical burden of epilepsy. That is our quest. Every patient that becomes seizure free is a battle won in that quest. It is a fight that can only be successful with patients, their families, the treating healthcare providers, and organizations such as UCB and the Epilepsy Foundation working together."
O'Hurley, Honorary Chair of the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego, California, had a sister who was taking epilepsy medication in the 1970s who died from a seizure after she stopped taking the drug.
An estimated 2.7 million Americans have epilepsy, with another 200,000 expected to be diagnosed with the disorder this year. Epilepsy ranks second only to headaches as the leading neurological disorder seen most often in the primary care setting, according to The World Health Organization.
About the Epilepsy Foundation
The Epilepsy Foundation is a national, charitable organization, founded in 1968, dedicated to supporting children and adults affected by seizures through research, education, advocacy and service. The national office, in Landover, Maryland, supports nearly 60 affiliated Epilepsy Foundations throughout the nation.