TORONTO, Feb. 29, 2012 /CNW/ - Genzyme, a Sanofi company (EURONEXT: SAN
and NYSE: SNY), today announced its support of International Rare
Disease Day with a series of events to celebrate and recognize the
global rare disease community. Observed annually on the last day of
February, Rare Disease Day seeks to call attention to rare diseases as
an important public health issue, and to bring widespread recognition
of increased need for education, research and treatment.
As part of its rare disease day activities, Genzyme is pleased to
announce the launch of its second annual global grant program, the
Genzyme Patient Advocacy Leadership Awards (PAL Awards). Now open for
submissions, the Genzyme PAL Awards support non-profit organizations
that work on behalf of patients living with lysosomal storage disorders
(LSDs), a group of rare, inherited disorders that cause progressive and
debilitating health problems. Due to last year's overwhelming response,
which included ideas and programs to improve disease awareness, patient
education, care and support from around the world, Genzyme has doubled
this year's grant amount for a total of $100,000. Grants will be
awarded through a competitive application process to organizations that
seek funding for new initiatives that support the LSD patient
"Partnerships such as the PAL Awards program underscore Genzyme's
commitment to the rare disease community and demonstrate the importance
of increased education and awareness of rare diseases to improve the
quality of care of patients around the world," said Rogerio Vivaldi
M.D., Genzyme's Head of Rare Diseases. "For over 30 years, Genzyme has
been proud to work with patient organizations to further access to care
and treatment for patients with rare and special unmet medical needs."
In 2011, more than 50 patient organizations around the world, including
from Canada, responded to Genzyme's PAL Awards program, and 11 patient
organizations were selected by the External Review Committee to win a
PAL Award. Among those selected in 2011 was the National Gaucher
Foundation of Canada.
"Our organization is proud to represent Canada as one of the groups
selected from around the world to undertake our proposal for the "My
Normal" Digital Storytelling Project for Kids," said Emma Rooney,
Director and Secretary with the National Gaucher Foundation of Canada.
"As a Gaucher patient, winning this award allows me to communicate my
own childhood story digitally, for a global audience. PAL's emphasis on
innovation allows us to take a creative approach to reducing the
isolation that young patients and their families may feel through the
sharing of stories."
Additional Genzyme Rare Disease Day Initiatives in Canada
February 29, 2012 marks the fifth International Rare Disease Day,
involving numerous rare disease organizations from Canada and around
the world. There are nearly 7,000 identified rare diseases and many
have no treatment available. While each of these diseases is rare,
collectively they affect millions of people.
"As an annual partner for International Rare Disease Day in Canada,
Genzyme is extremely proud to continue our ongoing support of such
dedicated organizations as the Canadian Organization for Rare
Disorders, the Quebec Coalition of Orphan Diseases, and other
LSD-specific groups," said Monty Keast, Business Unit Director at
Genzyme Canada Inc. "We are pleased to continue our partnerships with
these organizations, to assist in their efforts to improve the lives of
the many Canadians who comprise this rare group, and to give them a
More About Genzyme Patient Advocacy Leadership (PAL) Grant
Organizations may apply for a Genzyme PAL Award for programs that
support lysosomal storage disorder awareness, advocacy on behalf of
patient communities, patient education and patient care, support and
communication networks. This grant program is supplemental to Genzyme's
existing grants program and will not replace the contributions made
locally each year to support advocacy groups. Proposals will be
reviewed by an external review committee. Applications must be received
by June 15, 2012 and the award recipients will be announced by
September 30, 2012. For more information on the Genzyme PAL Awards
program, or to apply for a grant, please visit www.genzymeadvocacyawards.com.
About Genzyme, a Sanofi Company
Genzyme has pioneered the development and delivery of transformative
therapies for patients affected by rare and debilitating diseases for
over 30 years. We accomplish our goals through world-class research and
with the compassion and commitment of our employees. With a focus on
rare diseases and multiple sclerosis, we are dedicated to making a
positive impact on the lives of the patients and families we serve.
That goal guides and inspires us every day. Genzyme's portfolio of
transformative therapies, which are marketed in countries around the
world, represents groundbreaking and life-saving advances in medicine.
As a Sanofi company, Genzyme benefits from the reach and resources of
one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies, with a shared
commitment to improving the lives of patients. Learn more at www.genzyme.com.
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