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Research partnership on rare diseases announced

A €100-million European Joint Programme on Rare Diseases is launching next year, to increase collaboration on research into diagnosis, treatment and care.

The programme will run for five years, the European Commission said on 6 December. It involves more than 130 organisations based in 27 EU member states and eight other countries, including Canada. The programme will be coordinated by Inserm, France’s national agency for health research.

Jean-Eric Paquet, the Commission’s top R&D official, described the partnership as a “a real game changer” for rare diseases. Just over half of the funding, €55m, is coming from the EU’s Horizon 2020 R&D programme. Research commissioner Carlos Moedas said this “shows how we can pool Horizon 2020 funding and resources from EU member states and beyond in order to save lives and protect people”.

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