Nearly 3 million people in the United States and 65 million people worldwide have epilepsy, a neurological condition which affects the nervous system and causes seizures. One in 26 people will develop epilepsy at some point in their lifetime, with 150,000 new cases annually in the United States. Nearly 80% of the people with epilepsy live in low- and middle-income countries and three-quarters of these individuals do not get the treatment they need.
Among those living with epilepsy, nearly one-third have ongoing seizures despite existing therapies. Each year, more than 1 out of 1,000 people with epilepsy die from sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). If seizures are uncontrolled, the risk of SUDEP increases to more than 1 out of 150. SUDEP is the leading cause of death in young adults with uncontrolled seizures.
In order to accelerate the identification of effective treatments for SUDEP, the Epilepsy Foundation SUDEP Institute is sponsoring a Reduction to Practice Challenge to develop a predictive biomarker or panel of biomarkers to identify people at risk for SUDEP or seizures that compromise cardiac or respiratory function. The biomarker(s) must serve as an endpoint or surrogate endpoint that will drive human SUDEP interventions. For example, the biomarker(s) may identify a high risk patient group that could be used to test existing candidate interventions such as seizure detection devices.
Milestone 1 requires a detailed Project Plan of the proposed solution. Milestone 2 involves the production of proof-of-concept data. Milestone 3 requires results that demonstrate the predictive efficacy of the biomarker(s). The SUDEP Institute intends to make up to 10 awards from a total award pool of $100,000 for Milestone 1, up to 4 awards of $25,000 each for Milestone 2, and a final award at least $800,000 for successful completion of Milestone 3.