Raise Your Hand to Help Millions of Americans Affected by Rare Diseases

Lundbeck kicks-off month-long rare disease research fundraiser leading up to Rare Disease Day 2011

DEERFIELD, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Today, Lundbeck announced its second annual Raise Your Hand to Fight Rare Diseases campaign in support of Rare Disease Day, a worldwide observance each year on February 28 to raise awareness of rare diseases. Through an online public awareness initiative, Lundbeck will donate research dollars to the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), the sponsor of Rare Disease Day in the United States.

When an individual clicks the “Raise Your Hand” icon posted on the NORD Rare Disease Day website (www.rarediseaseday.us), Lundbeck will make an unrestricted donation to NORD for rare disease research. Lundbeck asks people to share information about the campaign through Facebook and Twitter to prompt others to participate and help generate rare disease awareness.

“Lundbeck is committed to ongoing research and awareness in the rare disease community as part of our broader effort to address unmet medical needs,” said Staffan Schüberg, president of Lundbeck Inc. “With nearly 7,000 rare diseases affecting approximately 30 million Americans, it becomes clear that, collectively, rare diseases are not that uncommon. Through this campaign, we hope to elevate the impact rare diseases have on Americans by generating as big a show of hands as possible.”

As a result of last year’s campaign, which generated more than 4,000 clicks on the “Raise Your Hand” icon and included an additional gift from Lundbeck, an unrestricted $10,000 donation was made to the NORD general research fund. NORD used this donation to provide a research grant to Eric Lancaster, MD, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Lancaster is studying stiff-person syndrome, a rare acquired neurological disorder that is believed to affect approximately one in 1 million people and characterized by muscle rigidity, heightened sensitivity to stimuli and muscle spasms.2,3

“We’re committed to supporting people affected by rare diseases on February 28 and throughout the year,” said Peter L. Saltonstall, NORD president and CEO. “Continued partnership and support from organizations like Lundbeck make it possible for us to continue our efforts to support increased understanding of rare diseases, new treatments and maybe even a cure for certain types of rare diseases.”

About Rare Diseases

There are approximately 7,000 rare diseases or conditions affecting an estimated 30 million Americans,1 though the number of individuals confronting any one of these disorders can be quite small. In the United States, rare diseases, also referred to as "orphan conditions," are generally defined as diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 Americans.1 Compared to individuals with more common disorders, those with rare diseases often face greater challenges such as difficulty in finding medical experts, delay in receiving an accurate diagnosis, and access to few, if any, treatment options.1

About Rare Disease Day

Rare Disease Day is an annual event observed worldwide on the last day of February each year. The purpose of the day is to raise awareness of rare diseases as a public health issue and bring together patients and families with rare diseases to discuss the need for greater awareness, more research, and better access to diagnosis and treatment.1 Rare Disease Day was first launched in 2008 in Europe by the European Rare Disease Organization, EURORDIS, a sister organization to NORD. In 2009, other countries throughout the world joined EURODIS to observe the day.4 NORD, which represents the nearly 30 million American affect by rare diseases,1 is the sponsor of Rare Disease Day in the United States. To learn more about Rare Disease Day 2011 in the United States, please visit www.rarediseaseday.us, or visit Facebook and become a fan of Rare Disease Day US.

About Lundbeck Inc.

Headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, Lundbeck Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of H. Lundbeck A/S, is committed to providing innovative specialty therapies that fulfill unmet medical needs of people with central nervous system (CNS) disorders, including rare diseases for which few, if any, effective treatments are available. Lundbeck is a member of the National Organization for Rare Disorders Corporate Council.5 For more information, please visit www.lundbeckinc.com or follow us on Twitter at @LundbeckInc.


  1. About Rare Disease Day. Rare Disease Day US. http://rarediseaseday.us/about/ Last accessed 01/24/11.
  2. Stiff-person syndrome. http://www.rarediseases.org/search/rdbdetail_abstract.html?disname=Stiff%20Person%20Syndrome Last accessed 1/27/2011.
  3. NINDS Stiff-Person Syndrome. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/stiffperson/stiffperson.htm. Last accessed 01/24/11.
  4. History of Rare Disease Day. Rare Disease Day US. http://rarediseaseday.us/about/history/. Last accessed 01/24/11.
  5. NORD Corporate Council. Disease Information from NORD, National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. http://www.rarediseases.org/info/corp_council_members. Last accessed 01/24/11.


Lundbeck Inc.
Sally Benjamin Young, (847) 282-5770

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