Professor Ian Phillips to lead Rare Disease Workshop in Boston
Professor Ian Phillips will lead a workshop on developing rare disease therapies at the 2nd World Orphan Drug Summit on November 15 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Orphan Drug Summit gathers industry leaders to share best practices and strategies surrounding orphan drug development.
Phillips, the Norris Professor of Applied Life Sciences and director of the Center for Rare Disease Therapies at KGI, will discuss the search for new rare disease treatments and what can be done to improve their availability to patients.
Options include reprofiling existing drugs for other conditions as well as utilizing gene therapy and stem cells.
Phillips spoke on similar topics at the Rare Disease Leadership Summit this summer in Washington, DC.
The timing is ideal for many large pharmaceutical companies to consider entering the rare disease market, which they have stayed out of until now, said Phillips. "They have traditionally avoided rare disease therapies because the markets are small, but now companies have found ways to make the smaller markets profitable," he said.
As director of the Center for Rare Disease Therapies, Phillips has forged strong partnerships with industry and the Food and Drug Administration, putting him in a position to conduct such an important workshop at the orphan drug summit.
"The center is unique because we're not committed to any single company," he said. "We are an honest broker between circles of academia, industry and the FDA. The center at KGI is unique, hosting FDA workshops on orphan drugs."
Phillips said his goal is to increase the number of therapies available to the rare disease population.
By Megan Hill (MBS '12)