As we continue to build and expand the leading global platform for storing, sharing, and interpreting massive sets of genomic data, rare diseases are becoming an increasing focus for us.
So, today, on Rare Disease Day, we want to spotlight the role of Dr. Christina Waters, our new Senior Vice President for Rare Disease.
Christina founded the non-profit RARE Science in 2013. With RARE Science she has succeeded in creating a framework to power rare disease research and bring together families across 38 countries who share one of the almost 400 conditions the organization is working on. Joining WuXi NextCODE has allowed Waters to help us increase our focus on rare diseases and take her non-profit’s goals to scale and help more patients with rare diseases receive definitive diagnoses and more effective treatments.
“The reality of rare disease means we must work globally if we are going to have enough patients in any of our studies to have an impact,” she explains.
Rare conditions are, after all, much harder to study because in any given place fewer people have them. For some conditions, the number of known patients is fewer than 100 worldwide.
Still, overall, there are many rare conditions – about 7,000 and affecting hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Over half of rare disease patients are children, 30% of which will die before their fifth birthday.
Learn more about Christina and her aims for rare disease patients.