Dr. Ian Phillips speaks at Global Genes Patient Advocacy Summit
Dr. Ian Phillips, Norris Professor of Applied Life Sciences and director of the Center for Rare Disease Therapies at KGI, spoke to an audience of 500 patient advocates at the Global Genes | RARE Project's 2nd Annual Patient Advocacy Summit in Newport Beach, Calif., on September 20. In addition to giving a talk on scientific discovery and drug development, he also chaired a meeting of venture capitalists and research scientists that informed patient groups about how they can better target their fundraising efforts toward research that will lead to new therapies for rare diseases. The panel including Deborah Geraghty, vice president and founder of Cydan, a Boston-based biotech incubator company that invests in orphan drugs; David Pearce, director of Sanford Children's Health research center, and a researcher on Batten disease; James McLaughlin, an associate at Third Rock Ventures in Boston which launches new healthcare companies. Topics covered in Dr. Phillips' talk included opportunities to design gene therapies for orphan drug designations and a discussion of the fact that discoveries are not always made by scientists aware of rare diseases. Questions came from the audience and were sent in via twitter and e-mail. The Global Genes /RARE Project is a leading, international patient advocacy organization for rare and genetic disease. It is based in California.