Newcastle’s Centre for Life is set to host the Rare Disease Showcase, a day-long event aimed at celebrating and highlighting the rare disease projects and research being undertaken in the city and across the North East of England.

Organised by the charity Findacure, the event on the 31st October aims to provide a friendly forum for patient groups, researchers, clinicians and life science professionals to come together to encourage collaborations within the rare disease community and improve the future of rare disease science and healthcare.

The event is only the second day-long event of its kind since Findacure launched the Rare Disease Showcase last year in Birmingham. The charity has also held shorter events in Cardiff and Cambridge.

The Showcase, which is supported by Newcastle University’s Institute of Genetics, is sponsored by North East-based independent chemical research and development company, High Force Research as well as lead sponsor Biomarin Europe Ltd.; independent life science medical research charity LifeArc and US companies Sanofi Genzyme and Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

The event will:

  • Provide a forum to share rare disease projects taking place in Newcastle and the North East
  • Showcase Newcastle as a European hub for rare disease research
  • Feature talks, many from leading Newcastle-based academics, highlighting progress in rare bone disorders, neuromuscular disorders and rare skin cancer
  • Include an afternoon networking session with lightning talks proposed by delegates
  • Allow networking between major rare disease stakeholders

Dr Rick Thompson, CEO of Findacure says: “Rare Diseases are so uncommon that resources for research are often limited and as a result, treatments are scarce. Individuals regularly do not get the support they need and suffering from a Rare Disease can be an isolating and frustrating experience.

“At Findacure we are striving to build a rare disease community that has the skills and knowledge to address patient needs, to drive research, and to develop treatments. As one of the leading biomedical research hubs in the UK and Europe, Newcastle is the ideal location for our second day-long Rare Disease Showcase and we’re looking forward to shining a light on the industry-leading Rare Disease research taking place in the city and across the region.”

Stella James, Business Development Manager of North East-based High Force Research, one of the events sponsors says: “The North East is a hugely successful hub for biomedical and clinical research and as a region we have a track record of collaboration that is second to none between our world leading universities, clinicians and private companies. As we increase our focus on orphan drug manufacture for the treatment of rare diseases, we’re delighted to be to be supporting Findacure and excited to help showcase the quality of research and talent here in the region.”

Tickets for the Newcastle Rare Disease Showcase can be purchased at