The recent opening of The Zayed Centre for research, a dedicated rare disease centre which is a part of Great Ormond Street Hospital, is incredibly exciting for the rare disease community as a whole.

The £90m centre, £60m of which was funded by Sheika Fatima bint Mubarak Al Ketbi who is the wife of the late founder of the UAE, will enable Great Ormond Street Hospital to deliver a five-fold increase in the number of children receiving gene therapy. Up to 200 children per day will be treated in this 7 storey state-of-the-art facility which will also house up to 400 world-leading scientists and clinicians.

The centre brings together Great Ormond Street doctors and University College London researchers under one roof to catalyse the treatment of rare diseases in children. Facilities include 9 tissue culture rooms, child-friendly consultation rooms, a Flow Cytometry suite, and a simulation suite for education and training.

The opening of this specialist centre marks a new era in rare disease research as well as a shifting in public perception of rare diseases. No longer will they be seen as an afterthought, a peripheral conundrum, but instead an important and central part of medicine. Findacure is optimistic that this centre will make huge strides in rare disease treatment and research in the UK.