Editas Medicine Joins EURORDIS, NORD, and Other International Organizations to Underscore Importance of Research in Developing Treatments for Rare Diseases
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Feb. 28, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Editas Medicine, Inc. (NASDAQ:EDIT), a leading genome editing company, announced the company has joined forces with 30 million Americans and health care advocates around the world today for Rare Disease Day®. Rare Disease Day is an annual awareness day dedicated to elevating public understanding of rare diseases. This year’s theme focuses on research and the critical role it plays in identifying, diagnosing, and ultimately treating rare diseases.
“At Editas Medicine, we have the bold vision to unlock the potential of CRISPR to design and develop genome editing therapies for patients suffering from genetically-defined and genetically-treatable diseases, including rare diseases,” said Katrine Bosley, President and Chief Executive Officer of Editas Medicine. “It’s a privilege to join organizations like EURORDIS and NORD, as well as our colleagues within the industry, to raise awareness of the importance of research, funding, and partnerships for the millions of people living with rare diseases across the world and their families.”
CRISPR is a dynamic, versatile tool that can be programmed to target specific stretches of genetic code and edit DNA at precise locations in the human genome. The technology allows researchers to permanently modify genes and has the potential to create medicines with a durable treatment effect following a single dose. Editas Medicine is currently focused on using its CRISPR technology to treat diseases for which there are few or no available treatments, including a rare inherited eye disease called Leber congenital amaurosis type 10, or LCA10, that appears at birth or in the first few months of life and leads to significant vision loss.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), nearly one in 10 Americans lives with a rare disease—collectively affecting 30 million people—and nearly half of these patients are children. There are approximately 6,000 rare diseases, 95 percent of which have no FDA-approved therapies.
Rare Disease Day was established in Europe in 2008 by EURORDIS, the organization representing rare disease patients in Europe, and is now observed in more than 80 nations. Rare Disease Day is sponsored in the U.S. by the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)®, the largest and leading independent, nonprofit organization committed to the identification, treatment, and cure of rare diseases.
About Editas Medicine
Editas Medicine is a leading genome editing company dedicated to treating patients with genetically-defined diseases by correcting their disease-causing genes. The company was founded by world leaders in genome editing, and its mission is to translate the promise of genome editing science into a broad class of transformative genomic medicines to benefit the greatest number of patients.
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