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Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi meets clinicians and researchers at the Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children

22/09/2021

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children recently hosted His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, the Secretary of State for Health Sajid Javid MP, and the Secretary of State for Education Minister Nadhim Zahawi MP at it's Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children, to tour the state-of-the-art facility and learn more about the life-changing impact of its work.

The Zayed Centre for Research (ZCR) opened to patients in October 2019 thanks to a transformational £60m gift from Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, wife of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founder of the United Arab Emirates. It is the only Centre of its kind in the world and brings together pioneering research and clinical care under one roof to help drive forward new treatments and cures for children with rare diseases.

Life-changing research

The group met researchers who work across fields including immunology and COVID-19 research to understand how the facilities have enabled them to bring new treatment breakthroughs to patients and improve lives.

Mahboubian Professor in Gene Therapy, Claire Booth, met the delegation to share more about how her work using gene therapy has helped develop a potential cure for a previously incurable condition called ADA SCID, where children are born without an immune system. Research into rare diseases is a key priority for the hospital and charity, as many children rely on research to offer the hope of effective treatments or even a cure for their condition.

The delegation also saw the state-of-the-art specialist clean rooms - the largest single academic manufacturing unit for gene and cell therapies in the UK and one of the largest in the world – where products are manufactured for use in groundbreaking gene therapy trials. These facilities also enabled the manufacture of the COVID-19 virus to supply to the world’s first human challenge trial earlier in 2021.

The Zayed Centre for Research brings together life-changing research with excellent clinical care which is the hallmark of our hospital. It was an honour to show our guests around the Centre and for them to hear directly from our researchers about the impact of this facility. International collaboration is absolutely key to finding breakthroughs for so many of the rare diseases we see here at GOSH and the Zayed Centre for Research is playing a leading role globally in bringing the hope of a cure closer to patients, and changing the lives of children all around the world.

Mat Shaw, GOSH CEO.

The ZCR is also supported by Research England, The Wolfson Foundation, John Connolly & Odile Griffith and the Mead Family Foundation. The Centre is a partnership between Great Ormond Street Hospital, UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health (GOS ICH) and Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.

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