RARE Daily

AWS Commits $10 million to Pediatric Rare Disease Research

June 27, 2024

Rare Daily Staff

Amazon Web Services said it is committing $10 million to empower nonprofit institutions to harness the power of the AWS cloud to advance research for pediatric rare diseases.

The initiative will support a growing consortium of hospitals and other institutions that use both cloud computing and artificial intelligence with the goal of accelerating research and discoveries. By more effectively managing data in the cloud, researchers will be able to better understand the genetic make-up of diseases, which leads to quicker, more accurate diagnoses—and more effective personalized treatments for patients.

The $10 million dollar commitment includes a $3 million philanthropic commitment that will be distributed between three organizations. Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C.; Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio; and the Children’s Brain Tumor Network located at CHOP will each receive $1 million dollars to support their ongoing work.

Through the new AWS IMAGINE Grant Children’s Health Innovation Award, $7 million will be available to additional organizations for projects that accelerate pediatric research, advance maternal child total health, and/or empower the pediatric workforce and caregivers. Beyond pediatric cancers, the funding will support research on all sorts of childhood diseases—from heart conditions to genetic disorders.

Pediatric diseases often get little attention, and fewer resources devoted to research. Clinical study data remains limited for many pediatric diseases and their treatments. Most registered pediatric studies are small-scale, single-center, and not funded by private industries or the federal government, which means fewer treatments are being studied over time. Because drug companies have less financial incentive to develop treatments for this small group of patients, children with cancer and other rare diseases often follow treatment plans that are adapted from adult protocols, and aren’t customized for their needs.

Genetic mutations also differ between childhood and adult cancers, which adds complexity for researchers. These distinct challenges for pediatric research require advanced solutions.

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