Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Sunovion) announced today its support of several initiatives during November to recognize Epilepsy Awareness Month and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Awareness Month in the U.S. and November 16 as World COPD Day, reflecting Sunovion’s belief that meaningful advocacy and relevant education can improve lives. The initiatives are designed to raise awareness and to support patients with serious medical conditions and their families.
“We are proud to partner with leading advocates and advocacy groups in recognizing the impact of epilepsy and COPD on patients and their families,” said Nobuhiko Tamura, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sunovion. “We believe it is important to support the epilepsy and COPD communities and the role of caregivers in helping patients with these conditions.”
National Epilepsy Awareness Month Activities
Sunovion, in partnership with the Epilepsy Foundation and Star Trek and Star Wars actor and advocate Greg Grunberg, launched the #MyEpilepsyHero social media campaign today. #MyEpilepsyHero is designed to give people impacted by epilepsy the chance to recognize those who have made a positive difference in their lives through support or inspiration. An epilepsy hero can be anyone – a family member, health care provider, mentor or friend.
From now until December 16, a video or photograph of an epilepsy hero can be posted using the hashtag #MyEpilepsyHero on Facebook or Twitter. Upon reaching the goal of 500 heroes, Sunovion will donate $10,000 to the Epilepsy Foundation.
For more information about the campaign or to participate, please visit the #MyEpilepsyHero event page on Facebook.
COPD Awareness Month/World COPD Day Activities
Throughout November, Sunovion is supporting the COPD Foundation’s Go Orange campaign, and shining a light on COPD throughout the U.S. As a part of that effort, iconic buildings and landmarks will be illuminated in orange, the designated support color for COPD, specifically:
Sunovion recently announced an alliance with the Caregiver Action Network (CAN) to build a grassroots community for COPD caregivers from all walks of life. For veterans, parents, spouses, partners and friends, CAN is committed to providing caregivers with an online support system, including informational and inspiring videos featuring other COPD caregivers.
Sunovion also encourages people to wear orange and post a picture on social media channels with the hashtag #whodoyouwearorangefor to raise awareness and show support for patients with COPD and their caregivers during November. These images also can be uploaded to the COPD Foundation’s COPD360social community.
For over five years, Sunovion has worked with national advocacy groups in the U.S. to develop and support leading advocacy programs including the epilepsy awareness site TalkAboutIt!.org,COPD Together and Be Vocal: Speak Up for Mental Health initiatives. The company also has supported hundreds of other advocacy events held regionally in the U.S., as well as in the U.K. and Canada.
About Epilepsy and Partial-Onset Seizures
Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological condition, and one in 26 people in the U.S. will develop epilepsy in his or her lifetime.i Epilepsy manifests as unprovoked seizures, which are caused by abnormal firing of impulses from nerve cells in the brain.ii Partial-onset seizures, the most common type of seizure, are characterized by bursts of electrical activity that are initially focused in specific areas of the brain and may become more widespread, with symptoms varying according to the affected areas.iii The unpredictable nature of seizures may have a significant impact on those with epilepsy. Reducing the frequency of seizures may lessen the burden of epilepsy.iv With approximately one-third of people living with epilepsy still unable to control seizures, there continues to be a need for new therapies.iv Up to 40 percent of people living with epilepsy do not respond to the first or second monotherapyv, and approximately 36 percent fail to achieve adequate control of seizures despite the use of two or more antiepileptic medicationsvi.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, also known as COPD, includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, and is a progressive respiratory disease that causes worsening obstruction to airflow in the lungs over time.vii Approximately 15.7 million adults in the U.S. report that they have been diagnosed with COPD.viii It is estimated that several million more adults have undiagnosed COPD.ix COPD is responsible for over 120,000 deaths per year, making it the third leading cause of death in the U.S.ix COPD develops slowly and the symptoms often worsen over time, potentially limiting the ability to perform routine activities.vii Symptoms of COPD include constant coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, excess production of mucus in the lungs, the inability to breathe deeply and the feeling of being unable to breathe.ix
About Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Sunovion)
Sunovion is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the innovative application of science and medicine to help people with serious medical conditions. Sunovion’s vision is to lead the way to a healthier world. The Company’s spirit of innovation is driven by the conviction that scientific excellence paired with meaningful advocacy and relevant education can improve lives. With patients at the center of everything it does, the Company has charted new paths to life-transforming treatments that reflect ongoing investments in research and development and an unwavering commitment to support people with psychiatric, neurological and respiratory conditions. Sunovion’s track record of discovery, development and commercialization of important therapies has included Brovana® (arformoterol tartrate), Latuda® (lurasidone HCI), and most recently Aptiom® (eslicarbazepine acetate).
Headquartered in Marlborough, Mass. Sunovion is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd. Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Europe Ltd., based in London, England, and Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc., based in Mississauga, Ontario, are wholly-owned direct subsidiaries of Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. Additional information can be found on the Company’s web sites: www.sunovion.com, www.sunovion.eu and www.sunovion.ca. Connect with Sunovion on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube.
BROVANA is a registered trademark of Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc.
LATUDA is a registered trademark of Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd.
APTIOM is used under license from BIAL.
Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a U.S. subsidiary of Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd.
© 2016 Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. All rights reserved.
i Institute of Medicine (IOM). 2012. “Epilepsy across the
spectrum: Promoting health and understanding.” Washington, DC: The
National Academies Press.
ii National Institutes of Health. “NINDS Epilepsy Information Page” Accessed July 2015. <http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/epilepsy/epilepsy.htm>
iii Epilepsy Foundation. “Complex Partial Seizures.” Accessed July 2015. <http://www.epilepsy.com/learn/types-seizures/complex-partial-seizures>.
iv Brodie MJ, Barry SJE, Bamagous GA, Norrie JD, Kwan P. Patterns of treatment response in newly diagnosed epilepsy. Neurology. 2012;78:1548-1554.
v Kwan P, Brodie MJ. “Early Identification of Refractory Epilepsy.” New England Journal of Medicine (2000): 342(5):314-9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10660394.
vi Epilepsy Foundation. “If First Medicine Doesn’t Work” <http://www.epilepsy.com/learn/treating-seizures-and-epilepsy/treatment-101-basics/if-first-medicine-doesnt-work>. Accessed November 2016.
vii National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. What Is COPD? Available at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/copd/. Accessed: March 2, 2016
viii MMWR: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Employment and Activity Limitations Among Adults with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease — United States, 2013. March 27, 2015; 64(11). Available at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/
ix National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. “What is COPD?” Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/copd/what-is-copd/index.htm. Accessed: March 2, 2016
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Last updated on: 01/11/2016
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