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FDA grants pump $19M into rare disease programs

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The FDA has awarded 18 new research grants totaling more than $19 million to accelerate and encourage development of products for patients suffering from rare diseases.

The funding will be put toward projects connected to 17 different therapeutic areas—including familial dysautonomia, HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer and Prader-Willi syndrome—that all represent high areas of unmet need with few or no current therapies.

Ten of the grants fund studies that enroll patients as young as newborns. Two others are related to sickle cell disease and focus specifically on the extreme pain from which its patients suffer, which is also a top cause of hospitalizations in that group.

The awards are given through the FDA’s Orphan Products Grants Program, which is designed to encourage the clinical development of biologics, drugs, medical devices or medical foods for use in rare diseases by helping to fund studies that could underpin their approval.

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