Global Health Repurposing Awards 2017 Blog Series

July 13, 2017

By Jennifer Ball

Lieven GHRAWhen the weight loss drug fenfluramine, half of the “fen-phen” combination, was taken off the market, it meant the worst for families with children who have the rare epileptic disorder Dravet syndrome. Some of these children had been taking fenfluramine to treat their condition for several years. Now, parents no longer had a solution for reducing their children's seizures. Enter Dr. Lieven Lagae, Director of the Childhood Epilepsy Program at the KUL University Hospitals in Leuven, Belgium.

Recognizing that fenfluramine helped children with Dravet syndrome in his hospital's residential epilepsy center, he decided to fight to bring this treatment back to market. “Fenfluramine made a real difference in the lives of our patients with Dravet syndrome,” Dr. Lagae said. “Freedom from seizures is really not a typical progression of Dravet syndrome.”

Cures Within Reach, a nonprofit that supports repurposing drugs, devices and nutraceuticals to treat unsolved diseases, has awarded Dr. Lagae with the Cures Within Reach Industry Patient Impact Clinical Award. Read the full post!