Anna Richo is executive vice president and general counsel for UCB, a Belgian biopharmaceutical firm. Anna Richo helps protect the company’s intellectual property, including patient-centered innovations such as Briviact and Vimpat, which help people with epilepsy.
Epilepsy is the fourth most prevalent neurological disorder. Around 65 million people have the condition across the world; most are either in early childhood or older than 65. The condition is characterized by serial seizures, ranging from a mild muscle jerk once in a while to violent convulsions several times in a day.
There are two major types of seizures. Focal seizures happen in just one area of the brain, while generalized seizures involve the entire brain. Epilepsy takes many forms, however, and correct diagnosis is very important for treatment and care.
Medication is effective for many patients. Sixty to seventy percent of patients become seizure-free using one prescription medicine. Sometimes further treatment helps if the first drug does not. About a third of people with epilepsy do not currently respond to drug treatment.
No one knows for sure what causes the abnormal electrical events in the brain that cause epilepsy, though brain injuries or family history of epilepsy seem to play a part.
As the executive vice president and general counsel for UCB in Brussels, Belgium, Anna Richo focuses on the company’s intellectual property, legal, and corporate compliance departments. Anna Richo utilizes more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry to perform her work with the international biopharmaceutical company.
Dedicated to improving the quality of life for people around the world, UCB develops cutting-edge medications and maintains a corporate social responsibility program, which includes the UCB Societal Responsibility Fund. UCB founded the Fund in partnership with the King Baudouin Foundation, a well-known nonprofit organization in Belgium, to improve neurological care and quality of life for people with epilepsy and limited financial resources. By supporting a variety of initiatives worldwide, the Fund helps to grow awareness about epilepsy, improve diagnostic capabilities, promote acceptance for people with the disease, and increase health workers’ understanding of epilepsy.
The Fund awards grants to established organizations and primarily concentrates on two projects, Project HOPE in China – Rainbow Bridge and the Brothers of Charity in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Both projects strive to train neurologists and decrease social stigmas against people with epilepsy.