(NASDAQ: GENZ) today recognized International Rare Disease Day with the launch of a new program, the Genzyme Patient Advocacy Leadership Awards (PAL Awards). A global grant program, the Genzyme PAL Awards will support non-profit organizations that work on behalf of patients living with lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs), a group of rare, inherited disorders that cause progressive and debilitating health problems. A total of $50,000 will be awarded through a competitive application process to organizations that seek funding for new initiatives that support the LSD patient community.
“For 30 years, Genzyme has been supporting patients through pioneering new treatments, free drug programs and through ongoing partnerships with patient organizations that serve the LSD patient community,” said Genzyme’s Director of Patient Advocacy, Jamie Manganello. “International Rare Disease Day is a great moment to launch the PAL Awards to commemorate the progress that has been made in partnership with the patient community, and as a reminder of our commitment to the work that is still ahead for us on behalf of patients and families affected by rare diseases.”
Organizations may apply for a Genzyme PAL Award for programs that support disease awareness, advocacy on behalf of patient communities, patient education and patient care, support and communication networks. This grant program is supplemental to Genzyme’s existing grants program and will not replace the contributions made locally each year to support advocacy groups. Proposals will be reviewed by an external review committee. Applications must be received by June 15, 2011, and the award recipients will be announced by July 31, 2011. For more information on the Genzyme PAL Awards program, or to apply for a grant, please visit
February 28, 2011 marks the fourth International Rare Disease Day, created by the patient organization EURORDIS and involving rare disease organizations globally. Genzyme is proud to have been a partner each year for International Rare Disease Day, and has organized events at Genzyme locations around this year’s theme, “Rare but Equal.” These events include presentations by patients with rare diseases at Genzyme offices, participation in a public event at the Massachusetts State House and today’s launch of the Genzyme PAL Awards.