Sunovion highlights epilepsy heroes in reupped awareness campaign

Sunovion is working with actor Greg Grunberg to spread epilepsy awareness.

Sunovion is looking for a hero. Epilepsy heroes, that is. Its “My Epilepsy Hero” campaign, now in its second year, encourages patients and caregivers to share their hero stories and even gives them a cape with a custom Facebook frame.

Sunovion first partnered on the campaign with the Epilepsy Foundation and actor Greg Grunberg, whose son has epilepsy, last November, which is National Epilepsy Awareness Month. The online campaign is driven through social media on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr with people sharing stories hashtagged #MyEpilepsyHero. For every story shared, Sunovion donates $1 to the foundation. Videos with individual hero stories created this year at the National Walk for Epilepsy can also be found at the Epilepsy Foundation’s webpage.

“We created #MyEpilepsyHero to unify and amplify the voices of those impacted by epilepsy and give them a chance to recognize people in their lives who inspire them and have made a positive difference,” a Sunovion spokesperson said in an email interview. “ … The epilepsy community often finds acceptance and support through their online community, which helps individuals to navigate their life with epilepsy. We wanted to tap into that camaraderie and help spur those connections by encouraging community members to share their stories and recognize their personal heroes.”

The campaign includes working with advocates like Grunberg, known for his roles on TV shows "Alias" and "Heroes" and also on the movie "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." Grunberg founded the "Talk About It" campaign with the Epilepsy Foundation to end misconceptions about epilepsy.

Sunovion added that although the campaign is focused on the epilepsy community, “we hope it will reach beyond to educate a broader audience about the condition and inspire people to get to know someone living with epilepsy.”

Sunovion markets epilepsy treatment Aptiom, approved in 2013 by the FDA to treat partial-onset seizures in adults. More recently, in September, it received an expanded indication to treat children ages four to 17. Aptiom revenue was $107 million in 2016 in North America and China, according to Sunovion parent Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma's financial filings, and it's projected to increase to $152 million in 2017.