In addition, many academic institutes from across the UK are participating in many of the other of the projects. Such as Birmingham University who are working with researchers in the Netherlands and France on the development of a new bio-artificial liver support system to treat acute liver failure.
Research is important at a European level because individual member states are unable to gather sufficient knowledge and expertise due to scarce resources and the relatively low number of patients in each country. Also, doctors find it difficult to diagnose and identify the best treatment for rare diseases.
Over the last six years, the Commission has invested around €500 million (£429m) in rare disease research and has led the creation of the International Rare Diseases Research Consortium. The 26 new projects bring the number of EU-funded research projects for rare diseases close to 100.