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Chinese and French team up to fight rare diseases

China State Institute of Pharmaceutical Industry signed a memorandum of understanding with French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi in Shanghai yesterday to conduct joint research on rare disease diagnosis and treatment in China.

The purpose of the project is to accelerate the translation of research results into new medicines and therapies for rare disease patients in China.

The World Health Organization defines rare disease as diseases with an incidence rate between 0.65 and 1 per 1,000 people. According to statistics from the US National Institute of Health, nearly 7,000 diseases worldwide belong to rare diseases. But China does not yet have an official definition of rare diseases, making it difficult to formulate related policies.

Wang Lifeng, vice chairman of the board of SinoPharm, said Sanofi and its subsidiary Genzyme are well experienced in rare disease treatment.

"Our collaboration with Sanofi aims to define rare disease causes, prevalence and patient distribution in China. This research will allow us to accelerate the development of cures for rare disease patients in China," she said.


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