On 4th February 2015, the new Center for Rare Diseases of HSK, Dr. Horst Schmidt Kliniken in Wiesbaden was officially opened. This centre, which will be run by Prof.Maurizio Scarpa (President of Brains for Brain), is setting a landmark for the region and Germany as a whole in the fight against rare conditions. For the official ceremony, more than 250 participants – among which Frederic Destrebecq (Executive Director of EBC)- did convene in Wiesbaden.

In his introductory address, Prof. Markus Knuf (HSK Director Department of Paediatric and Adolescent Medicine) pointed to the need to address rare diseases through an interdisciplinary approach, which was now at the core of the new centre’s philosophy. He reported that the centre was the outcome of collaborations emerging in the wider framework of the European and national action plans on rare diseases. In doing so, the centre in Wiesbaden will become a key component in the trans-regional co-operation in Germany.

Prof. Maurizio Scarpa shed light on the broader framework “Europlan” that emerged further to the EU recommendation on rare diseases, which had led to national plans. The ambition of the new centre is to contribute to the existing network of institutions and foster collaboration, in a philosophy of further education, increased awareness, improved diagnosis, treatment and quality of life for patients.

Prof. David Begley (Secretary General of Brains for Brain) was invited to present the activities of Brains for Brain. In doing so, he emphasised the need for greater co-operation and argued for pulling resources together and facilitating exchanges of experience, findings and ideas from scientists and experts as well as patient groups and families.

The EBC was extremely pleased to take part in the ceremony and would like once again to congratulate and convey its wishes of success to Prof. Scarpa and his team from the HSK Centre.