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Shire Celebrates World Rare Disease Day on February 28
Date:2/26/2009

HGT business unit joins the global rare disease community to raise awareness for underserved populations; launches online resource to unite patient community

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Feb. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Shire Human Genetic Therapies (HGT), a business unit of Shire plc, the global specialty biopharmaceutical company, today announced it will join together with the National Organization of Rare Diseases (NORD) to celebrate World Rare Disease Day on February 28, 2009. The purpose of this day is to call attention to the public health issues associated with rare diseases, which affect nearly 30 million Americans and countless others around the world.

In addition to supporting advocacy-driven partnership activities, which include a grassroots video campaign and outreach to policy makers to encourage better access to treatment and increased reimbursement for orphan drugs, Shire HGT is developing a new, comprehensive online resource center, set to launch in early 2009. This new online resource--called the BRAVE Community--is designed to help patients find important medical information and connect with one another. Shire HGT is inviting the rare disease community to visit http://www.BRAVECommunity.com to sign up to request information about specific rare genetic diseases and to be notified by email when the website officially launches.

"The rare disease community is often overlooked by others in the industry, which is why it gives us great pleasure to celebrate World Rare Disease Day," said Sylvie Gregoire, President of Shire HGT. "Our organization is committed to enabling people with life-altering conditions to lead better lives--and for Shire, this includes improving access to information as well as providing therapies for these diseases."

A rare disease is one that affects fewer than 200,000 Americans. According to the National Institutes of
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SOURCE Shire Human Genetic Therapies
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