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'Orphan drug' development slow

5th April 2006

A research study has found that development in Europe of drugs for serious but rare conditions - 'orphan drugs' - is progressing too slowly.

Researchers say that the low rate may be in part due to the paucity of European funds for companies willing to develop orphan drugs.  Only 18 drugs were eventually approved out of the 255 products designated in four years by the European Union as 'orphan drugs' and entitled to special grants.

They call for urgent action, as there are still several thousand rare diseases awaiting therapy.

 

 

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