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LifeArc announces £5M support for rare disease research

LifeArc, the medical research charity, today announced its Philanthropic Fund will award £5M in grants to support medical research projects focused on rare diseases.

In June 2017 LifeArc pledged to invest up to £500 million over the next five years to generate, fund and champion innovations to improve the lives of patients suffering from diseases that present the greatest challenges to medical research. As part of this the Philanthropic Fund will support rare disease research with this £5M investment. Rare diseases have historically been difficult to address. These grants should allow researchers to push the boundaries by capitalising on recent scientific advances, including new therapeutic technologies such as gene editing.

Grants will be allocated to projects that demonstrate robust science and a credible route to patients. LifeArc will now be able to further support partners with an interest in rare diseases, including charities and other medical research funders.

Catriona Crombie, Philanthropic Fund Manager, LifeArc, said: “LifeArc has a history of supporting the delivery of transformational therapeutics, and we are always looking for new ways to progress promising science into therapeutics and diagnostics. Rare diseases affect approximately one in twenty people worldwide. Treatment options are often limited, and many patients remain undiagnosed. With this fund we are aiming to accelerate scientific breakthroughs to deliver new medicines for patients with these conditions.”

It is anticipated that the grant awards will be made from summer 2018. For further information, please email