NIH's new rare disease push

The National Institutes of Health has thrown its hat into the drug development ring with the announcement of a new program that will seek to bring drugs that treat rare and neglected diseases onto the market. "This is a tremendously important initiative for people with rare diseases," Peter Saltonstall, president of the linkurl:National Organization for Rare Disorders;http://www.rarediseases.org/ (NORD), said in a linkurl:statement.;http://www.rarediseases.org/news/TRND "There are nearly 7,000

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob Grant is Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

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May 20, 2009
The National Institutes of Health has thrown its hat into the drug development ring with the announcement of a new program that will seek to bring drugs that treat rare and neglected diseases onto the market. "This is a tremendously important initiative for people with rare diseases," Peter Saltonstall, president of the linkurl:National Organization for Rare Disorders;http://www.rarediseases.org/ (NORD), said in a linkurl:statement.;http://www.rarediseases.org/news/TRND "There are nearly 7,000 rare diseases and only about 200 of them have an FDA-approved therapy." The new NIH program, called Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases, or TRND, will be fueled by $24 million per year for five years. The aim of the $120 million project, according to acting NIH director linkurl:Raynard Kington,;http://www.nih.gov/about/director/index.htm will be to target diseases and disorders that are ignored by pharmaceutical companies because they afflict a relatively small segment of the population - less than 200,000 people in the US by definition. "NIH...

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