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Excellence in Rare Diseases and Orphan Drugs

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by Cambridge Rare Disease Network with support from Havas Life Medicom

Summary of work

RAREfest is the first of its kind; an open to the public rare disease-inspired festival and campaign bringing passionate and inspirational people together to change the rare disease landscape for the better. This heart-warming, informative and action-inspiring campaign connected scientists, technology companies, charities, social enterprises, artists, performers, schools and the public.

The campaign successfully created a community united behind the goal of addressing the mismatch between public perception, knowledge and the reality of rare diseases. That community became the platform for rare disease expertise to be disseminated, connections to be established, and ideas readily exchanged and discussed.

The result was more than 20 new working collaborations with, and between, pharma, biotech, academia and patient groups meaning additional research, events, discovery projects and materials that add up to a significant change for the better.

Judges' comments

The judges liked that RAREfest created a community of people that otherwise would feel isolated. It is laudable and making a real difference to patients’ lives.


Greater than the Sum of its Parts - by Jazz Pharmaceuticals

Highly commended


INSPIRE: Improving Outcomes in Paediatric Cardiology - by AbbVie with support from Lucid Group

Palmoplantar Pustulosis Augmented Reality Tool - by Boehringer Ingelheim with support from OPEN Health

RAREfest - by Cambridge Rare Disease Network with support from Havas Life Medicom

Chronicity in Acute Times: Cablivi Access Challenge - by Sanofi Genzyme

Key dates

Entry deadline 26 August 2021
Extended entry deadline 2 September 2021*
*additional fee applies
Judging Day 1 October 2021
Company of the Year Interviews 22 October 2021
PMEA Event 24 November 2021