DEERFIELD, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Today, Lundbeck and the Hereditary Disease Foundation announced the launch of the fourth annual Build Hope for HD initiative. The online donation campaign helps generate support for the Casa Hogar Corea de Huntington Amor y Fe (Huntington’s Chorea Home of Love and Faith), a unique Venezuelan clinic serving the families who made possible groundbreaking discoveries in Huntington’s disease (HD) and other genetic diseases. To trigger a donation from Lundbeck to help keep this vital clinic open, visit www.BuildHopeforHD.com or www.hdfoundation.org and click on the campaign icon before the end of the year. For every click, Lundbeck will donate $15 to the clinic, up to $25,000.
The Build Hope for HD campaign celebrates an especially important milestone for the HD community this year. Thirty years ago, scientists supported by the Hereditary Disease Foundation successfully discovered the location of the HD gene using DNA markers.1 This was the first time scientists used DNA markers to discover any gene. Ten years later, the Gene Hunters – 100 brilliant scientists supported by the Hereditary Disease Foundation – discovered the HD gene itself.2
A group of families living along the shores of Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela, were critical to these groundbreaking scientific breakthroughs. It is because of their generosity and collaboration that the HD marker and gene were found.
“Thanks to the families living around the shores of Lake Maracaibo, we were able to locate the HD gene in 1983 and find the gene itself in 1993,”1,2 said Nancy Wexler, Ph.D., President of the Hereditary Disease Foundation and Higgins Professor of Neuropsychology, Columbia University. “These extraordinary family members helped revolutionize HD research and forever change the lives of people living with HD around the world. The Casa Hogar was opened to pay tribute to the sacrifices made by these families and is a model for best care practices. It is so important that we continue to support this community and work together to continue research to find a cure for HD that is within our grasp. Your support can help make the next discovery possible.”
With support from the Hereditary Disease Foundation, the Casa Hogar clinic was opened in 1999 after a decade of working with local Venezuelan authorities. The Casa Hogar provides free general and HD-specific medical treatments, food, care and an integrated nursing home to thousands of family members with HD who live along the shores of Lake Maracaibo. The clinic continues to be an important part of the HD community, serving as a model for patient care, despite extreme challenges of poverty. The clinic also may serve as a home for genetic and neurological research that may impact the future of HD discoveries.
Lundbeck’s annual Build Hope campaign has raised more than $235,000 since its launch three years ago, allowing the clinic to continue serving the local HD community.
“HD is a devastating condition that affects about 30,000 people in the United States alone,”3 said Arvind Sreedharan, Director of Movement Disorders Marketing of Lundbeck in the United States. “We are proud to support the Casa Hogar, and we remain inspired by the contributions of the Venezuelan HD families and the continued dedication of the researchers working towards advancements in HD and genetic diseases like it. We look forward to continuing to work with the HD community, including scientists, clinicians, patients and their families, as we tread forward in the hopes of further understanding HD.”
About Huntington’s Disease
Huntington’s disease is a hereditary neurodegenerative disease characterized by a triad of behavioral, cognitive and motor symptoms.4 These symptoms vary from person to person. The duration of the disease after the onset of symptoms can range from 10 to 30 years5 and currently there is no cure.5 The HD gene, whose mutation results in the disease, was localized in 1983 and isolated in 1993.1,2 For more information on HD, please visit the Hereditary Disease Foundation website (www.hdfoundation.org).
About the Hereditary Disease Foundation
The Hereditary Disease Foundation aims to cure Huntington’s disease (HD) by supporting research aimed at developing new treatments and cures. The Hereditary Disease Foundation was started by Dr. Milton Wexler in 1968 when his wife was diagnosed with Huntington's disease. The Foundation uses a variety of strategies – workshops, grants, fellowships, and targeted research contracts – to solve the mysteries of genetic disease and develop new treatments and cures. The Hereditary Disease Foundation initiated the International-Venezuela Huntington’s Disease Collaborative Research Project and played a key role in the discovery of the HD gene, which was localized in 1983 and isolated in 1993.1,2 For more information, visit the Hereditary Disease Foundation website (www.hdfoundation.org).
About Lundbeck in the U.S.
Lundbeck in the U.S., headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of H. Lundbeck A/S in Denmark. Lundbeck is dedicated to providing innovative specialty therapies that fulfill unmet medical needs of people with brain disorders, such as Huntington’s disease (HD). In 2010, Lundbeck initiated the HD Research Initiative to identify and ultimately commercialize therapies that may slow or halt the progression of HD. This research is driven by collaborations with academic institutions and companies with promising compounds in development. For more information, visit www.lundbeckus.com.
H. Lundbeck A/S (LUN.CO, LUN DC, HLUYY) is a global pharmaceutical company specialized in brain diseases. For more than 50 years, we have been at the forefront of research within neuroscience. Our development and distribution of pioneering treatments continues to make a difference to people living with brain diseases. Our key areas of focus are alcohol dependence, Alzheimer’s disease, depression/anxiety, epilepsy, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and stroke. Lundbeck’s U.S. business is based in Deerfield, Illinois. To learn more about Lundbeck in the U.S., visit www.lundbeckus.com.
Our 5,800 employees in 57 countries are engaged in the entire value chain throughout research, development, production, marketing and sales, and are committed to improving the quality of life of people living with brain diseases. Our pipeline consists of several late-stage development programs and our products are available in more than 100 countries. We have research centers in China, Denmark and the United States, and production facilities in China, Denmark, France, Italy and Mexico. Lundbeck generated revenue of approximately DKK15 billion in 2012 (EUR 2 billion; USD 2.6 billion).
Lundbeck’s shares are listed on the stock exchange in Copenhagen under the symbol “LUN.” Lundbeck has a sponsored Level 1 ADR program listed in the US (OTC) under the symbol “HLUYY.” For additional information, we encourage you to visit our corporate site www.lundbeck.com.
1. Gusella J, Wexler N, Conneally PM, Naylor S, Anderson M, Tanzi R, Watkins PC, Ottina K, Wallace M, Sakguchi A, Young AB, Shoulson I, Bonilla E, Martin JB. A polymorphic DNA marker genetically linked to Huntington’s disease. Nature 1983; 306:234-238.
2. Huntington’s Disease Collaborative Research Group. A novel gene containing a trinucleotide repeat that is expanded and unstable on Huntington’s disease chromosomes. Cell 1993; 72:971-983.
3. Fast Facts About HD. HDSA.org. http://www.hdsa.org/images/content/1/3/13699.pdf. Last accessed 10/1/13.
4. Marshall FJ, Clinical Features and Treatment of Huntington’s Disease. Movement Disorders 2004; 1:589-596.
5. Huntington’s Disease. Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/huntingtons-disease/DS00401/METHOD=print. Last accessed 10/9/13.
- Disease & Medical Conditions
- Hereditary Disease Foundation
Rachel Vann, 847-282-1139