DUBAI SCIENCE PARK AND SANOFI ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP TO TACKLE RARE DISEASES IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Dubai, UAE – February 27, 2017: Dubai Science Park (DSP), a member of TECOM Group, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Sanofi, one of the world's leading biotech companies, dedicated to discovering and delivering transformative therapies for patients with rare and special diseases.
The MoU will bring together DSP, the region’s leading community for research and innovation in the sciences, and Sanofi to cooperate, collaborate, and help shape the environment of rare diseases in the Middle East region.
According to research by Rare Disease UK, an organisation dedicated to raising awareness of rare diseases, 1 in 17 people, or 7% of the population, will be affected by a rare disease at some point in their lives. This equates to approximately 550,000 people in the UAE and over 23 million people across the Arab world. Approximately 75% of the people affected by rare diseases are children, 30% of whom die before the age of five which underlines the importance of addressing such diseases and improving the quality of healthcare patients receive. , 2 & 3
In addition to leveraging awareness of rare diseases and their impact on individuals in the UAE, the MoU between DSP and Sanofi will also look to establish communication channels for patient associations and scientific societies, and develop knowledge and technical capabilities within the industry.
Marwan Abdulaziz, Executive Director, Dubai Science Park commented: “DSP has come to be recognised as a community where pioneering ideas and cutting edge technology come together to foster growth across the life sciences value chain. Together with our business partners, we remain committed to playing a role in the transformation of Dubai into a knowledge economy.
Our MoU with Sanofi underscores our ambition to drive healthcare solutions that benefit the people of the region. At DSP we offer our partners the tools and space necessary to bring latest concepts to market and undertake R&D, catalysing innovations and creativity for the people of the region.
With rare diseases impacting the lives of numerous UAE citizens as well as people across the Middle East, Sanofi’s in-depth experience in this field will help us to develop solutions together, making for a healthier region.”
Jean Paul Scheuer, Country Chair and General Manager, Sanofi Gulf said: “Sanofi Genzyme has a long-standing commitment to addressing the unmet needs of patients with Rare diseases such as Fabry disease, Gaucher disease, MPS I and Pompe disease. We are honoured to work in collaboration with Dubai Science Park, as we recognise the value of cooperating together, to help shape a positive future for Rare Diseases in UAE and the region. We are dedicated to empowering the lives of people through research and development that advances the understanding of these disorders and supports the people we serve every day.”
A rare disease is defined by the European Union as one that affects less than five in 10,000 of the general population. There are between 6,000 and 8,000 known rare diseases and around five new rare diseases are described in medical literature each week.2