LANDOVER, Md., April 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Epilepsy Foundation announced today that Henrik Klitgaard, Ph.D., Vice President and Fellow, Neurosciences Therapeutic Area, UCB, has been named the recipient of the Epilepsy Therapy Project Lifetime Accelerator Award in recognition of his commitment and contributions to the field of epilepsy and to the people affected by it. Dr. Klitgaard will be honored at the Antiepileptic Drug and Device Trials (AED) XII Conference being held May 15-17, 2013, at the Turnberry Isle Miami Hotel, Aventura, FL.
A leading and accomplished researcher in the epilepsy community, Dr. Klitgaard has conducted antiepileptic drug discovery in the pharmaceutical industry for more than two decades, most notably contributing to the discovery and development of levetiracetam. Currently, he serves as Vice President and Fellow, Neurosciences Therapeutic Area, UCB, where he has contributed to the research and development of multiple promising new anti-epilepsy drug candidates including PPSI, seletracetam and brivaracetam.
Dr. Klitgaard was selected for the honor by an independent committee of global thought leaders and clinical investigators in epilepsy therapy discovery and development.
"Dr. Klitgaard truly embodies the definition of the Lifetime Accelerator Award with his lifelong commitment to the epilepsy community and the advancement of important new therapies," said Jacqueline A. French, M.D., Director of the Epilepsy Study Consortium, and Director of Clinical Trials at NYU's Comprehensive Epilepsy Center. "We are delighted to be able to recognize the significant contributions Dr. Klitgaard has made in drug development and to research in the field of epilepsy at the AED XII Conference."
"We're pleased to honor Dr. Klitgaard this year and to acknowledge both his notable contributions to important new therapies now available to patients and his creativity and leadership in setting new directions for the research agenda in epilepsy moving forward," said Warren Lammert, Co-founder of the Epilepsy Therapy Project.
Dr. Klitgaard earned his Ph.D. in Human Physiology in 1989 at the August Krogh Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. His postdoctoral work was conducted at different academic institutions, including the Pasteur Institute, Paris, France and the Harvard Medical School. Dr. Klitgaard joined the pharmaceutical industry in 1990 at Novo Nordisk, where he established a platform for antiepileptic drug discovery. He was recruited in 1994 to UCB as Head of CNS Research where he focused the drug discovery efforts on the search for new antiepileptic drugs. Dr. Klitgaard was later appointed Vice President and remained Head of CNS Research until 2012 when he was nominated UCB Fellow. He is the author of more than 80 peer-reviewed publications, as well as reviews and book chapters on both basic and applied aspects of epilepsy research and antiepileptic drug discovery and has contributed numerous lectures at epilepsy meetings. Dr. Klitgaard serves as a scientific adviser to the patient organization C.U.R.E. (Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy) and is a member for the Anticonvulsant Screening Program at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The Epilepsy Therapy Project Lifetime Accelerator Award was established to honor physicians, scientists, industry leaders and other individuals who have demonstrated a lifelong commitment to bringing new therapies to people living with epilepsy. Harvey Kupferberg, Ph.D., past Chief of the Preclinical Pharmacology Section, Epilepsy Branch, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National Institutes of Health was conferred the 2012 Accelerator Award.
When a person has two or more unprovoked seizures, they have epilepsy, which affects nearly three million people in the United States and 65 million people worldwide. This year, another 200,000 people in our country will be diagnosed with epilepsy. Despite all available treatments, 30 to 40 percent of all people with epilepsy continue to experience uncontrolled seizures while many more experience less than optimal seizure control.
About the AED XII Conference and the Second Annual Epilepsy Shark Tank Event
The Antiepileptic Drug and Device Trials (AED) XII Conference is being held May 15-17, 2013, at the Turnberry Isle Miami Hotel, Aventura, FL. The three-day conference will focus on issues related to antiepileptic drug development from preclinical discoveries through clinical evaluations with the final day devoted to showcasing the most promising epilepsy therapies in development. The 2013 conference will also include the second annual Epilepsy Therapy Project Shark Tank Event which awards a grant to the best new idea in epilepsy treatment and care. The "Shark Tank" finalists will present their concepts and product candidates at the conference; the winning entry will be selected by live voting by an expert panel of judges and audience members representing industry, patient advocacy, investment, research and medical communities. The project deemed most innovative will be announced at the conclusion of the conference, and the winner will receive a $100,000 grant to help accelerate the idea from concept to people with epilepsy.
For more information or to register for the conference, please visit http://www.epilepsy.com/etp/aedtrialxii.
About the Epilepsy Therapy Project
The Epilepsy Therapy Project was founded in 2002 by a group of parents, distinguished physicians, and researchers to support the commercialization of new therapies through direct grants and investments in promising academic and commercial projects. In December 2012, ETP merged with the Epilepsy Foundation and continues to support translational research and new product development as an initiative under the Epilepsy Foundation umbrella.
About the Epilepsy Foundation
The Epilepsy Foundation, a national non-profit with affiliated organizations throughout the United States, has led the fight against seizures since 1968. The Foundation's goals are to ensure that people with seizures are able to participate in all life experiences; and to prevent, control and cure epilepsy through services, education, advocacy and research, so not another moment is lost to seizures.
To learn more about epilepsy, visit www.epilepsy.com. 'Like' the Epilepsy Foundation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/epilepsyfoundationofamerica and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/epilepsyfdn
SOURCE Epilepsy Foundation