Novartis calls for more research into rare diseases

28 February 2014

In recognition of Rare Disease Day Novartis has called for a global exchange of ideas to improve the understanding of rare diseases and help address a significant unmet medical need.

Rare Disease Day is an annual, international awareness-raising event coordinated globally by EURORDIS and in the US by the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). The main objective is to raise awareness amongst the general public and decision-makers about rare diseases and their impact on patients' lives.

While these diseases may be rare, their impact is great. There are more than 6,000 rare diseases affecting more than 60 million people across Europe and North America and millions more worldwide.

"Novartis is pleased to help raise the dialogue about rare diseases and the need for more research to understand these diseases better," said Dr. Mark Fishman, President of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR). "Our focus on rare diseases flows from our desire to help patients underserved by today's medicines. In addition, research into rare diseases teaches us fundamental mechanisms of human biology and disease, often applicable to more prevalent disorders."

Novartis is sponsoring and hosting the RE(ACT) Congress 2014, the second international conference on research of rare and orphan diseases, organized  by the Gebert Rüf Foundation and the Blackswan Foundation [1].

"We continue to look for new ways to combine our own scientific knowledge and expertise with that of the rest of the research community, to find the shortest path to new treatments for rare diseases," said Dr. Fishman.

Further information

1. The RE(ACT) Congress 2014 will be held on the Novartis Basel Campus from March 5th to 8th, 2014 will provide the global research community with a platform to connect, exchange ideas and deepen fundamental understanding of rare diseases.

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