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Quantum Cures Announces Breakthrough Approach for Researchers Seeking Cures for Orphan and Rare Diseases
Date:2/28/2013

EXTON, Pa., Feb. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A new effort, being introduced today, aims to make it possible for medical researchers to develop small molecules that can be used to prevent, treat and find cures for a wide range of debilitating diseases by enlisting the help of volunteers around the world and using their idle computer time.

The announcement was made in conjunction with the sixth annual international Rare Disease Day, sponsored by EURORDIS, a non-governmental patient-driven alliance of patient organizations representing 561 rare disease patient groups in 51 countries worldwide.  The theme of this year's activities is "Rare Disorders Without Borders," citing the urgent need for global cooperation in the field of rare diseases.

Quantum Cures will initially enlist the help of tens of thousands of computer users around the United States who are willing to allow their computers to be used for research purposes during off-hours.   Medical researchers funded by advocacy groups have many "targets," known proteins that are implicated in disease pathways, but have been limited in their ability to test millions of potential drugs in their labs.  Quantum Cures is designed to provide those researchers with the computing resources they need to concentrate their research.

The primary focus of this effort is so-called "orphan and rare diseases," which traditionally do not receive the attention or research and development efforts of the world's major pharmaceutical companies, even though they may affect millions of people worldwide.  "Orphan," or "neglected," diseases include isolated spina bifida, cleft palates, Hodgkin's lymphoma, sleeping sickness and more. 

According to a 2005 report from the National Institutes of Health Office of Rare Diseases, there are 6,000–7,000 rare diseases affecting a total of 25 million Americans, with one in every 10
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