Epilepsy Foundation Awards $200,000 to Support Development of Innovative Products for Epilepsy Diagnosis & Treatment
LANDOVER, Md., Aug. 31, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Epilepsy Foundation awarded $200,000 total to two of the finalists who competed in the 9th Annual Shark Tank Competition on August 27 at the 2020 Epilepsy Pipeline Conference, which this year was held virtually. Inspired by the television show "Shark Tank," the Epilepsy Foundation's annual competition invites entrepreneurs from around the world to pitch their products and compete with five other finalists for funding. The winners, selected by a panel of "sharks," will use the funding in the development and commercialization of a new product, technology, or therapeutic concept to benefit the epilepsy community.
"The Epilepsy Foundation is committed to supporting solution-oriented innovative research," said Sonya Dumanis, PhD., Vice President, Research & Innovation. "Over the years, we have funded concepts ranging from seizure alert systems, to educational platforms, which have made a huge impact in helping to improve the quality of life of people with epilepsy. We have an incredibly talented community, and we want to empower individuals who have an innovative idea to take on the challenges that people living with epilepsy face every day, and work together with us to find solutions that will benefit the 3.4 million people in the U.S. affected by epilepsy."
Winner of this year's Shark Tank competition are:
The remaining finalists include:
The winning entries were selected through voting by conference attendees via a virtual poll following the pitches, as well as a panel of expert judges representing physicians and scientists, corporate executives, leading industry investors, people with epilepsy, and advocates. Among other things, criteria included the potential benefit and appeal to people with epilepsy and their families, and the likelihood of development of their product.
Since 2012, the Epilepsy Foundation has distributed $1.2 million to 16 Epilepsy Foundation Shark Tank winners. Nine previous Shark Tank winners have already made significant advances for people with epilepsy, and five have made it to market, including: SAMi by HiPass Design, UNEEG Medical (CE approved 2019), Embrace (FDA-approved December 2018), Fafanuka (launched in Kenya in 2018), and Zeto (FDA-approved April 2018), which technology is currently part of a groundbreaking EEG study at Methodist University Hospital in Tennessee.
This year's Shark Tank competition also featured updates from last year's winners, Curadite and Eysz. Following Epilepsy Foundation seed funding, Curadite has won additional awards for its smart pill packaging and medication adherence platform. They have begun testing their prototype in users for smart pill packaging and has optimized their design based on user feedback. Similarly, Eysz was able to receive follow-on funding including an investment from UCB and a grant from Greenwich Biosciences. In the past year, Eysz has expanded its IP portfolio and completed a Pre-Sub meeting with the FDA confirming the regulatory path forward. Eysz has also initiated a multicenter clinical study toward FDA clearance using analysis of passive eye movements to detect seizures.
In addition, Mary Ann Brodie, the executive director of the Epilepsy Study Consortium, formally accepted the Epilepsy Foundation's 2020 Lifetime Accelerator Award, which was announced earlier this year. Ms. Brodie received the award during the Accelerator Award Virtual Reception & Presentation from Rusty Katz, M.D., former director of the Division of Neuropharmacological Drug Products at the FDA; Marc Dichter, M.D., former president of the American Epilepsy Society; and Emilio Perucca, M.D., former president of the International League Against Epilepsy.
About the Epilepsy Foundation
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SOURCE Epilepsy Foundation