CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Feb. 28, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Editas Medicine, Inc. (EDIT), a leading genome editing company, announced today the Company is joining forces with the nearly 30 million Americans living with a rare disease and health care advocates around the world to help elevate awareness of rare diseases for Rare Disease Day®. There are more than 7,000 rare diseases impacting people around the world and approximately 90 percent of these diseases are still without FDA-approved medical treatments.
“At Editas Medicine, we are making significant progress towards developing transformative genome editing medicines for people living with serious diseases, including rare genetic diseases,” said Tim Hunt, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Editas Medicine. “Today – and every day – we are proud to stand with organizations like NORD and EURORDIS to shine a spotlight on the needs of people living with rare diseases – a majority of whom have few or no medicines available to treat their disease.”
CRISPR is a dynamic, versatile tool that can be programmed to target specific stretches of genetic code and edit DNA at precise locations in the human genome. The technology allows researchers to permanently modify genes and has the potential to create medicines with a durable treatment effect following a single dose. Editas Medicine is currently focused on using its CRISPR technology to treat diseases for which there are few or no available treatments, including a rare inherited eye disease called Leber congenital amaurosis 10, or LCA10, that appears at birth or in the first few months of life and leads to significant vision loss.
Rare Disease Day is an annual awareness day dedicated to increasing public understanding of rare diseases and calling attention to the special challenges people with rare diseases face. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a disease is rare if it affects fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S.
About Rare Disease Day
Rare Disease Day takes place every year on the last day of February (February 28 or February 29 in a leap year)—the rarest date on the calendar—to underscore the nature of rare diseases and what patients face. It was established in Europe in 2008 by EURORDIS, the organization representing rare disease patients in Europe, and is now observed in more than 80 nations. Rare Disease Day is sponsored in the U.S. by the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)®, the leading independent, nonprofit organization committed to the identification, treatment, and cure of rare diseases. This year, NORD launched the “Show Your Stripes” campaign; the campaign’s core message is to wear stripes on Rare Disease Day to raise awareness and show support for those living with rare diseases. For more information about Rare Disease Day in the U.S., go to www.rarediseaseday.us. For information about global activities, go to www.rarediseaseday.org. To search for information about rare diseases, visit NORD’s website, www.rarediseases.org.
About Editas Medicine
As a leading genome editing company, Editas Medicine is focused on translating the power and potential of the CRISPR/Cas9 and CRISPR/Cpf1 (also known as Cas12a) genome editing systems into a robust pipeline of treatments for people living with serious diseases around the world. Editas Medicine aims to discover, develop, manufacture, and commercialize transformative, durable, precision genomic medicines for a broad class of diseases. For the latest information and scientific presentations, please visit www.editasmedicine.com.
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