WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Rare Genomics Institute is delighted to announce the winners of the 2015 BeHEARD (Helping Empower and Accelerate Research Discoveries) challenge, a global competition that offers rare disease researchers, who traditionally have difficulty attracting funding, grants of the latest life science innovations and technologies. This unique crowdsourced competition allows many companies to gather together to make a difference for the rare disease community.
“This year we received hundreds of outstanding submissions from 99 universities and foundations in 21 different countries," said Dr. Claudia OuYang, BeHEARD Co-Director. “Over $600,000 worth of technologies were awarded to study 31 rare diseases.”
The winning proposals from BeHEARD 2015 will potentially yield key medical research insights and help accelerate therapeutic developments for rare disease patients.
One example is the BeHeard CRISPR mouse model, sponsored by Jackson Laboratory that was awarded to Dr. Carolyn Suzuki. This technology grant will allow her to work on CODAS syndrome, a rare multi-system developmental disorder.
Another winner, Michael Harris, a parent of a Vici syndrome patient, who received a mouse model from Taconic, said: “We are thrilled to receive this generous award on behalf of our son and other patients suffering from Vici syndrome. Though it is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder, this award will hopefully lead to new therapies and a better future for Vici syndrome patients.”
Rare diseases affect 300 million worldwide, yet less than five percent of the 7,000 known rare diseases have treatments available. The BeHEARD challenge helps non-profits, academics, advocacy groups, families of patients and for-profit companies to collaborate in their collective mission to advance rare disease research.
“We want to congratulate the winners and thank everyone who participated: our sponsors, the reviewers and all the applicants,” noted Dr. Arvin Gouw, BeHEARD Co-Director. “Their knowledge, resources and selfless support are crucial in our journey for fighting against rare diseases.”
For more information about BeHEARD, visit:
About Rare Genomics Institute
RG is an international 501(c) 3 non-profit that makes cutting edge research technologies of genome sequencing, physicians and scientists around the world accessible to rare disease patients. For more information, visit http://www.raregenomics.org.