Healthcare marketing communications specialists, Onyx Health, have teamed up with Cambridge-based biotech company, Actigen, to promote their pioneering work in the field of rare diseases.

Actigen’s work focuses on identifying and developing biological medicines for rare diseases with unmet medical needs. The current focus of Actigen’s work is on the development of a drug for a potential breakthrough treatment for the life-limiting rare disease known as MPS II or Hunter Syndrome.

MPS II is a serious, rare disease that has a major impact on the physical and neurological health of those affected. If left untreated, it can cause progressive deterioration of patients’ internal organs and cognitive behavioural issues.

Like many rare diseases, MPS II lacks adequate treatment options, as the current therapies merely improve the functioning of patients’ internal organs without addressing the neurological issues.

Actigen’s forthcoming clinical trial work on GNR-055 presents an opportunity to find a superior treatment option for MPS II, which is designed to address the cognitive function and behaviour disruption, significantly enhancing patient’s quality of life.

Actigen’s Managing Director, Michael Braunagel, said, “MPS II is just one of the hundreds of rare diseases where modern medicine can lead to a massive improvement of the treatment options. At Actigen, our mission is to improve the lives of individuals with rare diseases, and we hope that GNR-055 will be the start of many more trials for orphan diseases”.

“Onyx Health’s communication support and specialist sector knowledge will help us receive greater recognition for our expertise in rare diseases. GNR-055 is the first therapeutic in our innovative development pipeline, and we hope to be seen and heard for the great work we do, with the help of Onyx Health”.

Onyx Health was approached by Actigen when they were looking for a communications agency with scientific knowledge and expertise in pharmaceuticals and life sciences. The Newcastle-based agency is providing Actigen with a variety of creative branding and communications work to showcase their expertise and establish a strong reputation in the biotech market.

Onyx Health’s Associate Director, Louise Flintoft, said, “Clinical trials for rare diseases are a vitally important aspect of clinical research, though often neglected. There are 6,000 rare diseases affecting approximately 300 million people worldwide; however, 95% of rare diseases have no effective treatment options”.

“We are looking forward to working with Actigen to highlight this serious issue and the need for greater clinical research into rare diseases. While the importance of research into rare diseases is becoming increasingly recognised with the recent publication of the Government’s Rare Disease Action plan, more needs to be done”.