Shire Awards $5 Million for Children With Rare Diseases

To mark its thirtieth anniversary, Shire, an Irish biotechnology company that develops and markets innovative specialty medicines, has announced the launch of a $5 million initiative to positively affect the lives of children born with rare diseases.

Through its Future Generation initiative, the company will provide support to the SeriousFun Children's Network ($3 million over three years) in Westport, Connecticut, and the Bethesda, Maryland-based ACMG Foundation for Genetic and Genomic Medicine ($1.65 million over three years). With its gift to SeriousFun, Shire will make it possible for a thousand children, many with rare diseases, to attend a SeriousFun camp and build their confidence, expand their social networks, and develop their capacity for resilience. To address the shortage of medical geneticists, the grant to ACMG will fund ten genetic fellowships. The remaining $350,000 will provide additional support for the initiative.

"As a company fast-becoming the leading global biotechnology company focused on rare diseases and specialty conditions, we are passionate about making a meaningful — and lasting — difference in the lives of patients," said Shire CEO Flemming Ornskov. "In this, our thirtieth year, we want to celebrate our past by making a commitment to the future of the rare disease community. We are very proud to be teaming up with these two great organizations, which will help ensure a bright future for the patients and physicians we are privileged to serve."