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June 14, 2023 — The Sumaira Foundation (TSF), a global patient advocacy organization focused on rare neuroimmune conditions, is delighted to announce Tim Walbert, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Horizon Therapeutics, as TSF’s Inaugural Global Rare Trailblazer Award recipient. The award was announced at the 6th Annual TSF Gala, recently held in Boston on April 22, 2023.
The Annual Gala is TSF’s flagship fundraiser event, with proceeds going towards research on rare autoimmune conditions, with special focus on neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) and myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody disease (MOGAD).
Horizon is a global biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of medicines that address critical needs for people impacted by rare, autoimmune and severe inflammatory diseases. Walbert joined Horizon in 2008 as president and chief executive officer and has served as chairman of the company’s board of directors since 2010.
Commenting on the award, Sumaira Ahmed, TSF’s founder and executive director, said, “TSF’s Global Rare Trailblazer Award was created to recognize stellar leaders who are challenging the paradigm and imagining new possibilities for patients with rare diseases to experience a better quality of life. We’re thrilled to present our Inaugural Award to Tim Walbert. Apart from setting up Horizon to be an industry leader in bringing to market patient-focused solutions for rare diseases, Walbert—himself a patient with both a rare disease and an autoimmune disease, and a caregiver to his son who also suffers from a rare disease—consistently brings great empathy and a deep understanding of patient needs into industry conversations. We couldn’t think of a better person to receive TSF’s Global Rare Trailblazer Award, nor of a better occasion than our Annual Gala to present the Award.”
Walbert said, “It’s an honor to be recognized by such a trailblazing organization that shares a similar mission of supporting people living with rare diseases. Sumaira and I have a lot in common in that we both live with a rare disease and are committed to making a meaningful difference for other patients. My mission, and Horizon’s mission, is to combine science and compassion to address unmet needs and provide hope for underserved patient communities.”
The gala was attended by 300 guests from around the world including patients, caregivers, clinicians, researchers and therapy partners.
The event was made possible by generous sponsorships from Horizon Therapeutics (platinum sponsor), Genentech, UCB, Portal Instruments, Med Learning Group, The Dorchester Foundation, Joi Life Foundation, The Brain Health Center of the Rockies, ClearH20, EMBARC, Crest City Capital and Modern Store Equipment.
The 6th Annual TSF Gala successfully raised over $200,000 in funding for rare neuroimmune research.