World’s first centre for research into rare diseases to open

Categories: In The Media.

In recognition of GOSH’s unique position to advance treatments and cures in rare diseases, the wife of the late Sheikh Zayad bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founder of the United Arab Emirates, has donated £60 million. This generous gift builds on the legacy left behind by her late husband who had a passion for issues affecting the wellbeing of children and in gratitude for treatments the hospital have provided to children from around the world and fro the UAE.

The report on the GOSH website states that the centre is a partnership between GOSH, University College London (UCL) and the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. The building, whose site is adjacent to the hospital and the UCL Institute Child Health, is set to bring hundreds of clinicians and researchers together where they will see patients and access state-of-the-art laboratory facilities under one roof.

Baroness Blackstone, chair of Great Ormond Street Hospital said: “This gift is truly transformative and we are incredibly grateful. There is an urgent and compelling case to use our expertise and harness the recent advances in science and technology to accelerate the discovery of new treatments and cures in this area.

“This facility will be a centre of excellence for translational research and a beacon of hope for children with rare diseases around the world.”

Professor Michael Arthur, University College London President and Provost, said: “In recent years GOSH and UCL have achieved some amazing breakthroughs in the treatment of rare diseases and it is without question the partnership between academic science and clinical medicine that has made the progress possible.

“This state-of-the-art centre will enable a step change in research. In particular it will drive our experts to progress new and personalised ways to diagnose and treat these children by further developing gene and cell therapies and manufacturing increasingly complex medical devices.”

The centre will be built on a plot of land on Guilford Street. Currently the first phase of the public consultation process is underway, with the centre expected to open in 2018.

It is anticipated that the centre will house approximately 400 academics and clinical staff and feature more than 150 laboratory bench positions. The outpatients’ facility will accommodate 48 clinical staff, and 140 patients with accompanying family members.

Read the full report here.