Sanofi Genzyme Recognises 2016 International Rare Disease Day with Premiere of Expression of Hope Film

Feb 29, 2016, 02:00 ET from Sanofi Genzyme UK and Ireland - Oxford, UK

OXFORD, England, February 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

Sanofi Genzyme, the specialty care global business unit of Sanofi, today announced its support of International Rare Disease Day by showing the premiere of a short film based on artwork produced through its Expression of Hope programme. Patient groups including the Niemann-Pick Disease Group (UK) and Gauchers Association (UK) are attending the premiere.

Expression of Hope is a global disease awareness programme featuring works of art created by people affected by lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs). This unique programme, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, encourages anyone affected by an LSD to create and submit a work of art that expresses their experiences of living with these rare, inherited diseases. To date, more than 450 people worldwide have told their unique stories through art.

The film, which features three pieces of work from UK artists who have participated in the Expression of Hope programme, will premiere at Sanofi Genzyme's offices in Oxford on the 29th February, the ninth International Rare Disease Day. This year's theme for Rare Disease Day, 'Patient Voice', recognises the crucial role that patients play in voicing their needs and in instigating change that improves their lives and the lives of their families and carers.

"Rare Disease Day focuses attention on the impact of rare diseases on patients and the continuing challenge to ensure their needs are met by those developing new medicines and by the healthcare system," said Peter Kuiper, General Manager UK & Ireland at Sanofi Genzyme.

"The Sanofi Genzyme Expression of Hope programme aligns with this year's Rare Disease Day theme in providing patients with a route through which their voice can be heard. It is a great pleasure to be hosting the premiere today."


About Lysosomal Storage Disorders 
Lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs) are a group of more than 40 diseases. Each is caused by a genetic problem that results in the deficiency or malfunction of particular enzymes needed to remove waste material from cells. These waste molecules then accumulate, or are stored, in cell lysosomes (smaller compartments within the cells), disrupting cell function and causing a variety of symptoms. LSDs can be progressive, life-threatening and severely debilitating. Each LSD is caused by a different genetic problem and enzyme deficiency. Because these disorders are extremely rare - even the most common, Gaucher disease, only affects an estimated 10,000 people worldwide - it can be difficult to find information about them.

About Expression of Hope 
Expression of Hope is a global programme of inspiration and awareness featuring works of art by the lysosomal storage disorder (LSD) community. In collaboration with LSD patient organisations around the world, Sanofi Genzyme launched the Expression of Hope programme in 2006 to give those impacted by lysosomal storage disorders the opportunity to raise awareness of these rare genetic diseases. More than 100 patients and caregivers expressed their unique stories through their original pieces of artwork. Building on that initial success, Sanofi Genzyme launched the second Expression of Hope programme in 2009, and once again the global community responded with enthusiasm, creativity and insight. Our third Expression of Hope programme, launched in 2015, has further reinforced the commitment of individuals affected by lysosomal storage disorders to building awareness and expressing their unique stories through art. http://www.expressionofhope.com

About Sanofi Genzyme  
Sanofi, a global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients' needs. Sanofi has core strengths in diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and Genzyme. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY ).

Sanofi Genzyme focuses on developing specialty treatments for debilitating diseases that are often difficult to diagnose and treat, providing hope to patients and their families.

Genzyme® is a registered trademark of Genzyme Corporation. All rights reserved.

Media Contacts                                
Stefanie Holman
Sanofi Genzyme UK & Ireland
T: +44(0)1865-405-200 or +44(0)7740-935-273
E: stefanie.holman@genzyme.com


Chris Gardner
Consilium Communications
T: +44(0)7921-697-654
E: cgardner@consilium-comms.com

SOURCE Sanofi Genzyme UK and Ireland - Oxford, UK