Questcor and Child Neurology Foundation Support the 3rd Annual Infantile Spasms (IS) Awareness Week
HAYWARD, Calif., Oct. 27, 2011 Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOR) today announced that it is partnering with the Child Neurology Foundation (CNF) in support of the 3rd annual Infantile Spasms (IS) Awareness Week, which will take place October 24-30, 2011, in conjunction with the Child Neurology Society (CNS) Annual Meeting in Savannah, Georgia.
As part of this education effort, CNF has developed a website, www.infantilespasmsinfo.org, that provides information on IS from leading child neurologists and shares stories from families coping with this devastating condition. CNF has also developed an educational IS brochure and DVD that it makes available to physicians and parents alike.
“Questcor is very excited to continue its partnership with the Child Neurology Foundation,” said Steve Cartt, Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer for Questcor. “The goal of IS Awareness Week is to provide pediatricians, child neurologists, parents, and caregivers with objective educational tools which will help increase awareness and understanding of infantile spasms.”
As part of IS Awareness Week, the CNF announced that Dr. Harry Chugani, division chief of pediatric neurology at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, has been selected as this year’s IS Hero.
John Stone, executive director of the CNF, commented, “The IS Hero Award recognizes a deserving child neurologist and medical institution, nominated by a parent, for making a positive difference in the life of a child with IS. This is another way we can draw attention to IS and recognize the important contributions made by child neurologists in the care of these infants.”
Dr. Chugani was nominated by Emily and Ryan Kather of Royal Oaks, Michigan. Dr. Chugani treated their son, Ben, who was diagnosed with infantile spasms in 2009.
“If it was not for Dr. Chugani and his willingness to listen to us and help our son so quickly, Ben might not be flourishing the way he is today,” Emily Kather said. “Today, Ben is a typical – although we say exceptional in our eyes – two-year-old boy. He is a joy and I am grateful every day that we found a knowledgeable and devoted pediatric neurologist when we did.”
Dr. Chugani said, in accepting the award, “I am very humbled and honored to receive the IS Hero Award. Infantile Spasms is such a devastating, but treatable disorder that we (physicians) have to go that extra mile to make these children better. What drives me is the emotional despair of the parents once they have read up on the disorder.”
“I ask myself what I would do if I were in their situation. We know that we don’t always make the children better, but still, the parents know that we have tried, particularly if we make ourselves easily available to them and they know we are there for them. I’d like to thank the Child Neurology Foundation for all of their efforts to increase awareness and understanding of infantile spasms. I’d also like to thank Questcor Pharmaceuticals for the company’s support for these initiatives and for their support of research into the underlying causes of IS.”
Dr. Chugani will be honored at a special ceremony on Thursday, October 27, at the CNS Annual Meeting. Emily Kather will be in attendance to introduce Dr. Chugani.
Infantile Spasms is a severe, ultra-rare form of epilepsy that affects infants, with onset typically occurring during the first year of life in about 90 percent of cases. IS incidence is estimated at approximately 2,000 new cases in the U.S. per year, which can be classified as an ultra-orphan disease. For comparison, orphan disease designation pertains to diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 people. IS patients experience rapid, characteristic muscular contraction or extensions lasting one to two seconds and occurring in clusters ranging from a few spasms to more than 100 spasms per cluster. Often, in the beginning, the attacks are brief, infrequent and not typical, so it is quite common for the diagnosis to be delayed. Frequently, due to the pattern of the attacks and the cry that an infant gives during or after an attack, the attacks are sometimes initially thought to be due to colic or gastric distress.
About the Child Neurology Foundation
Founded in October 2000, the Child Neurology Foundation was created as the outreach and philanthropic arm of the Child Neurology Society. Members of the CNS include more than 1,300 child neurologists from the United States, Canada, as well as more than 30 other countries around the world.
The Foundation’s mission is to advocate for children and adolescents with neurologic and developmental disorders; fund neurologic research of young investigators; promote awareness of career opportunities in child neurology; provide public, professional, and patient education programs; and support the activities and mission of the CNS.
For more information on the CNF, please visit www.childneurologyfoundation.org.
About Questcor Pharmaceuticals
Questcor is a biopharmaceutical company whose products help patients with serious, difficult-to-treat medical conditions. Questcor’s specific areas of focus are in the fields of neurology and nephrology and the company is currently supporting research efforts in a variety of conditions having significant unmet medical need. Questcor was recently selected by Forbes as the #1 rated small company in America. For more information, please visit www.questcor.com.
SOURCE Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc.