Prof. Phillips to Address Rare Disease Summit
Professor Ian Phillips, PhD, director of KGI's Center for Rare Disease Therapies, will talk about the unique role that academics can play in rare disease therapies at the 6th annual Rare Disease Leadership Summit in Washington, DC, July 12-13.
The non-profit Center for Rare Disease Therapies provides a critical link among pharmaceutical companies (which are reluctant to develop rare disease therapies because of the high cost and low return on investment), government agencies (which are responsible for helping patients but shy away from close contact with for-profit companies) and patients (who need immediate relief).
The center's mission is to promote the development of orphan drug therapies that target rare diseases through education, advocacy and science. Rare diseases affect nearly 30 million Americans or approximately 1 out of 10 people. Of the 7,000 identified rare diseases, the vast majority have no treatments.
Phillips also launched a series of workshops in partnership with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to teach students, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, academics and patient advocates how to write and file an orphan drug designation application to treat rare diseases. These workshops have dramatically increased the number of applications approved by the FDA.
The Center also produces publications and white papers on important issues for the rare diseases community.
Phillips founded the Center for Rare Disease Therapies in 2008 with the support of KGI President Sheldon M. Schuster, PhD, and generous grants from the Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation, which supports programs that advance better health and intellectual enlightenment through education.
The center's work has been chronicled in the Wall Street Journal as well as in Nature and other top scientific journals.