Epilepsy charity and pharma trial machine learning

Pharmaceutical giant UCB is linking up with the Epilepsy Society to use machine learning data analysis tech to help prevent seizures among people with epilepsy.

Joe Lepper | 11th Feb 19
Image shows a pipette being used with text tubes, representing medical research

The Epilepsy Society is partnering with a global biopharmaceutical company as part of a £2.2m deal involving using machine learning and data analysis to improve treatment for those with epilepsy.

The link up with UCB is for five years and aims to find treatments for people with epilepsy for whom current treatments do not work.

The work will involve genome sequencing, machine learning and genetic biomarker analysis.

By creating more individualised treatments the charity hopes to help more people live their lives seizure free.

More than half a million people are affected by epilepsy in the UK, but only around a half (52%) are seizure free. It is estimated that with the right treatment around 70% could be seizure free.

“Our goal is that epilepsy should be as insignificant in a person’s life as perhaps having freckles – no impediment to living a full life, driving a car or holding down a demanding job,” said Clare Pelham, Chief Executive of the Epilepsy Society.

“We really believe that genomics gives us the tools to make this a reality and we are delighted to be collaborating with UCB, bringing together our cutting-edge science and world class technology.

“Already in clinics we are making diagnoses that are changing people’s lives, giving those whose days have been overshadowed by the possibility of a seizure, the chance of a seizure-free, and a care-free, life. And that is immense. We hope, in the future, this sort of diagnosis will become available to everyone across the UK.”

International Epilepsy Day

The announcement of the collaboration coincides with International Epilepsy Day, which has been created by the International Bureau of Epilepsy (IBE) and the International League Against Epilepsy to raise awareness and undersanding of epilepsy.