Join Lundbeck and the Hereditary Disease Foundation in a campaign to support the Venezuelan families who made groundbreaking Huntington’s disease research possible
DEERFIELD, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Today, Lundbeck Inc. announced its second Build Hope for HD donation campaign in support of a unique clinic in Venezuela that provides care for people affected by Huntington’s disease (HD). This year, the campaign takes on even greater significance because the Casa Hogar Amor y Fe (House of Love and Hope) is at risk of closing its doors – unless necessary funds are found.
This web-based initiative is conducted in collaboration with the Hereditary Disease Foundation. To trigger a donation from Lundbeck to help keep the clinic open, individuals simply click on the campaign icon at BuildHopeForHD.com before the end of October. For your click, Lundbeck will donate $10 to support the Casa Hogar (up to $10,000).
“The families living around the shores of Lake Maracaibo have revolutionized HD research, and the lives of people living with HD around the world,” said Nancy Wexler, Ph.D., President of the Hereditary Disease Foundation and Higgins Professor of Neuropsychology, Columbia University. “Thanks to them, we were able to locate the HD gene in 1983 and find the gene itself in 1993. The Casa Hogar is an exemplar to the world of the resilience of the Venezuelan professionals and these extraordinary family members suffering from Huntington's disease. The Casa Hogar currently is a model for best care practices, even though the patients, families and caregivers are living in the most extreme circumstances of poverty and duress.”
The Casa Hogar provides treatment, food, care and an integrated nursing home to thousands of family members with HD who live along the shores of Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela. 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 serves as a potential clinical trial location and a home for genetic and neurological research that may impact the future of HD discoveries.
Lundbeck has committed to a donation that will make it possible for the Casa Hogar to continue to serve the families in Venezuela as well as the larger HD community through the end of this year. The company is also committed to driving awareness to fuel continued support into the future.
“We’re proud to continue the Build Hope for HD campaign and support the HD community in Venezuela,” said Staffan Schüberg, president of Lundbeck Inc. “This community made it possible to unlock mysteries about the disease that have inspired scientists around the world – including our research team at Lundbeck – to study therapies that target the specific gene that causes HD and hopefully someday put an end to this very difficult disease.”
To show even more support for the clinic, individuals can make a personal donation to the Hereditary Disease Foundation that will be matched by Lundbeck. For every personal donation made as part of the Build Hope for HD campaign, Lundbeck will donate ten times that amount to the Casa Hogar. Lundbeck will donate up to a total of $90,000 in matched donations. The donation option is included at BuildHopeforHD.com.
In gratitude for the families’ contributions, the Hereditary Disease Foundation worked with local Venezuelan authorities to build the Casa Hogar over a ten-year period. Opened in 1999,3 the clinic is now home to over 65 people and provides care and food to many more from the surrounding community. For more than a decade, the Hereditary Disease Foundation has continued to support the costs of medicine, supplies, salaries and other expenses at this unique clinic. By policy of the Casa Hogar, almost all of the people who work there are family members of people with HD.
About Huntington’s Disease
Huntington’s disease is a hereditary neurodegenerative disease characterized by a triad of progressive motor, cognitive and emotional symptoms.4 These symptoms vary from person to person. The survival time after the onset of symptoms can range from 10 to 30 years and currently there is no cure. 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 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 Inc.
Headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, Lundbeck Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of H. Lundbeck A/S in Denmark, is dedicated to providing innovative specialty therapies that fulfill unmet medical needs of people with central nervous system (CNS) disorders, such as Huntington’s disease. In 2010, Lundbeck initiated the HD Research Initiative to identify and ultimately commercialize therapies that may slow or halt the progression of the Huntington’s disease. This research is driven by collaborations with academic institutions and companies with promising compounds in development. For more information, visit www.lundbeckinc.com.
H. Lundbeck A/S (LUN.CO, LUN DC, HLUKY) is an international pharmaceutical company highly committed to improving the quality of life for people suffering from central nervous system (CNS) disorders. For this purpose, Lundbeck is engaged in the research, development, production, marketing and sale of pharmaceuticals across the world. The company's products are targeted at disorders such as depression and anxiety, schizophrenia, insomnia, epilepsy, Huntington's, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Lundbeck was founded in 1915 by Hans Lundbeck in Copenhagen, Denmark. Today Lundbeck employs approximately 5,900 people worldwide. Lundbeck is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies working with CNS disorders. In 2010, the company's revenue was DKK 14.8 billion (approximately EUR 1.9 billion or USD 2.8 billion). For more information, visit 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. Glimm, Adele. “Timeline.” Gene Hunter: the Story of Neuropsychologist Nancy Wexler. New York. Scholastic. 2005 pg 106-107
4. Kirkwood SC, Su JL, Conneally PM, Foroud T. Progression of Symptoms in the Early and Middle Stages of Huntington Disease. Archives of Neurology 2001; 58:273-278.
5. Huntington’s Disease. Mayo Clinic. http://mayoclinic.com/print/huntingtons-disease/DS00401/DSECTION=all&METHOD=print. Last accessed 5/31/2011.
6. About Us. The Huntington Study Group. http://www.huntington-study-group.org/AboutUs/HSGOverview/tabid/59/Default.aspx. Last accessed 5/31/2011.
KEYWORDS: United States Venezuela North America South America Illinois
INDUSTRY KEYWORDS: Health Biotechnology Clinical Trials Genetics Pharmaceutical Philanthropy Research Science Foundation Fund Raising General Health