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01 March 2024
Rendering of the ÚNICAS Center for Rare Pediatric Diseases. A modern new building with elegant design and large windows.

On Thursday, February 29,  on Rare Disease Day, Sant Joan de Déu (SJD) Children’s Hospital in Barcelona held an event to mark the start of construction on the ÚNICAS Center for Rare Pediatric Diseases, whose mission is to provide the best possible care for children with rare diseases.

The nearly 14,000-square-meter center, located in close proximity to the SJD Children's Hospital, will house facilities for the diagnosis, treatment, and research of rare diseases, including dedicated care floors and neuroscience and genetics offices. The center is designed specifically to make the process of accessing its services and moving between departments within the same day as smooth and easy as possible for children with rare diseases.

The ÚNICAS Center for Rare Pediatric Diseases, which is expected to open in late 2025, is supported by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) made as part of our Global Health Initiative (GHI), in collaboration with the Leo Messi Foundation. Once completed, the center, in conjunction with SJD Children’s Hospital, will be one of the three largest rare-disease-focused facilities in the world. The new grant follows SNF's previous support for the construction of the SJD Pediatric Cancer Center in Barcelona, which opened in June 2022.