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LifeArc, the medical research charity, has announced its Philanthropic Fund will award £5m in grants to support medical research projects focused on rare diseases.

The grants scheme was announced at the Drug Repurposing for Rare Diseases Conference 2018. In June 2017 LifeArc pledged to invest up to £500 million over the next five years to generate, fund and champion innovations to improve the lives of patients suffering from diseases that present the greatest challenges to medical research.

As part of this the Philanthropic Fund will support rare disease research with the £5M investment. Rare diseases have historically been difficult to address. These grants should allow researchers to push the boundaries by capitalising on recent scientific advances, including new therapeutic technologies such as gene editing. Grants will be allocated to projects that demonstrate robust science and a credible route to patients. LifeArc will now be able to support even more work with partners who have an interest in rare diseases, including charities and other medical research funders. It is anticipated that the grant awards will be made from summer 2018. For further information, please email