CRDN’s Companies Forum

an opportunity learn to network and collaborATE

CRDN Companies Forum meetings welcome representatives from pharmaceutical, biotechnology and healthcare companies operating in the rare disease space who are interested in understanding the regulatory environment for orphan medicinal products and working collaboratively on projects. 

Meetings are conducted under Chatham House Rules and held  three times a year. Content for discussion is agreed amongst the group and high calibre speakers sourced by CRDN. Meetings are a half to full day,  informative, relaxed and collaborative and members receive presented slides and minutes of the meeting for future reference.


Alexion AstraZeneca Rare Disease logo
aparito logo RAREsummit21
Congenica Logo
EAHSN master logo
genomics england logo
Healx Logo
Illumina logo
lifearc logo
Pfizer logo
pulse infoframe logo
SOBI logo
Takeda logo
Bionical Emas logo CRDN companies Forum
Prime Global Logo
Orchard Therapeutics logo
Kyowa Kirin logo

What do our members say?

Owen Marks, Head of Rare Diseases at Pfizer shares his thoughts after attending Cambridge Rare Disease Network’s  virtual Companies Forum – an interesting discussion on rare disease clinical trials and learnings from the pandemic.

Recommended reading


Read CRDN’s blog exploring how our Companies Forum is seeking to challenge the status quo in orphan therapeutic development and support companies to connect the dots.

pharmaphorum logo

Pharmaphorum’s George Underwood talks to CRDN Companies Forum lead Dr. Ron Jortner about the biggest challenges facing rare disease pharma, and how the industry can tackle them.



Tues 28 June 2022: Medical Education by Industry

How do primary care clinicians learn about rare diseases and genomics, what do they need to know, and how do we contribute positively to that education?

Speakers: Dr Lucy McKay – Medics4RareDiseases, Dr Will Evans, GP, Healthcare researcher, Clinical Lead at Mendelian Health and Chairman of Niemann-Pick Uk

18 January 2022: Innovative Medicines Fund

Speakers: Thomas Strong and Sheela Uphadayaya, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

20 July 2021: Innovative Licensing and Access Pathway (ILAP).

Logos of patient groups and companies at CRDN Companies Forum partnering event

21 May 2021: Industry & Patient Group Partnering

Ten rare disease patient groups pitch their organisation and unmet therapeutic needs to our Companies Forum partners followed by speed dating with a mission.

assortment of pills and capsules

9 Oct 2020: Rare Disease Clinical Trials in the Covid/ post-Covid environment

Speakers: Dr. Elin Haf Davies, founder and CEO of Aparito, specialising in remote monitoring for clinical trials; Dr. Steve Anderson, CSO of Covance, Drug Development global CRO;  and Dr.Beatrice Panico, Senior Medical Assessor at the MHRA Clinical Trials Unit.

6 MAR 2020: NICE’s Health Technology Assessment process for rare disease assets

Speakers: Professor Ron Akehurst, member of the HST Evaluation Committee and founder of Sheffield University’s School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), one of NICE’s Evidence Review Groups (ERGs) and  Sheela Upadhyaya,  HST and Topic Selection Specialist.  National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

29 NOV 2019: Collaborative Strategies for Drug Development for Rare Conditions

Speakers: Prof Chas Bountra –pro-vice chancellor of innovation, Oxford University,  How can we work together to produce more affordable medicines, more quickly and patient group CEOs Dan Lewi – CATs Foundation, Tess Harris – PKD  UK, Allison Watson – Ring20 Research & Support