Access To Success: The Second Annual UCBeyond Scholarship Program



    - Fulfilling Dreams for Students Living With Crohn's Disease and
    Rheumatoid Arthritis -

    BURLINGTON, ON, Feb. 27 /CNW/ - UCB Pharma Canada is pleased to announce
the return of the UCBeyond Crohn's Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis
Scholarship Program, the first and only scholarships of their kind in Canada.
    "This scholarship, quite simply, has changed my life," says Laura
Bradbury, recipient of a 2007 UCBeyond Crohn's Disease Scholarship.
"Completing my post-secondary schooling has always been a goal for me, and the
UCBeyond Scholarship Program has given me the opportunity to achieve it."
    Obtaining a good education - an important goal for most Canadians - is
hard enough to attain without dealing with a chronic illness. With the
objective of making education an achievable goal for students living with
Crohn's Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis, UCB Pharma Canada is committed to
offering the UCBeyond Scholarship Program again in 2008.
    "UCB is dedicated to creating unique programs and tools to aid patients
in reaching above and beyond the boundaries of their disease and fulfilling
their educational ambitions," says Rob Hamilton, President of UCB Pharma
Canada. "We are proud of the 14 recipients who have already furthered their
post-secondary education through these scholarships, and we look forward to
even more participation across Canada in 2008. Not only do the scholarships
create incredible opportunities, but also great awareness of these diseases."
    The UCBeyond Scholarship Program will award seven (7), one-time
scholarships of up to $5,000 CDN each to people diagnosed with Crohn's disease
and seven (7), one-time scholarships of up to $5,000 CDN each to people
diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. The winners must demonstrate academic
ambition and use their scholarship toward post-secondary education (i.e.
university, college, trade school, etc.) for the 2008/09 school year.
    An independent selection committee of leading physicians and patient
representatives from across the country will again choose the 2008 UCBeyond
Scholarship recipients. Applicants will be evaluated based on a one-page essay
demonstrating how they go above and beyond their disease, exhibit perseverance
and empower others, as well as two letters of personal recommendation. The
deadline to apply is June 30, and winners will be announced in September 2008.
    "Congratulations and continued success to UCB with this program!
Overcoming the effects of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), rather than
letting it control you, can be an extremely difficult task. Students who
demonstrated an ability to accomplish this exceptional feat were recognized in
2007, and we are delighted that these scholarships will continue in 2008,"
says Dr. Kevin Glasgow, CEO of the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada -
a voluntary, not-for-profit, medical research foundation dedicated to finding
the cure for IBD and one of the world's leading sources of non-governmental,
funding of IBD research.
    "The day a person gets diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis their
opportunity to achieve all that they want to in life is significantly
challenged," says Cheryl Koehn, President of Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE),
and a volunteer member of the rheumatoid arthritis scholarship selection
committee. "That is why the UCBeyond Scholarship Program is so valuable to the
arthritis community - it has made a dramatic impact in the lives of those
living with rheumatoid arthritis and provides them with the chance to pursue
their educational goals and empowers them to overcome the obstacles the
disease imposes on their lives."
    Other proud supporters of the UCBeyond Scholarship Program include: The
Arthritis Society (TAS), the Canadian Rheumatology Association (CRA), the
Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance (CAPA) and the Canadian Association of
Gastroenterology (CAG).
    Students interested in applying for the 2008 UCBeyond Crohn's Disease and
Rheumatoid Arthritis Scholarship Program can obtain an application package
from their gastroenterologist or rheumatologist, or visit www.ccfc.ca,
www.arthritis.ca or www.chromecommunications.ca for a downloadable application
form.

    About Inflammatory Bowel Disease

    IBD is a chronic and debilitating disease affecting nearly
200,000 Canadians. It includes two similar yet distinct conditions called
Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. These diseases affect the digestive
system and cause the intestinal tissue to become inflamed, form sores and
bleed easily. Symptoms include abdominal pain, cramping, fatigue and diarrhea.
Most people are diagnosed before the age of 30.
    Crohn's Disease can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract, from
the mouth to the anus. Patches of inflammation occur, leaving healthy tissue
between the diseased areas. The inflammation can extend through several layers
of affected tissue. Crohn's disease cannot be cured by drugs or surgery,
although either or both can help relieve symptoms.
    Ulcerative colitis affects only the inner layer of the colon, or large
bowel. It always starts in the rectum and may extend as a continuous
inflammation from there into the rest of the colon. The disease can be
completely eliminated by surgically removing part or parts of the colon. After
such surgery, waste material may have to be stored and expelled through an
external appliance.
    The course of IBD is unpredictable. Most people experience periods of
remission between flare-ups of the disease. Frequent or severe flare-ups can
require long-term medication, hospitalisation or surgery. Although IBD is
found throughout the world, it is more common among North Americans and
northern Europeans. Canada has among the highest national rates of incidence
and prevalence of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis in the world.

    About Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a progressive autoimmune disease which
causes chronic inflammation of the joints. It is estimated that 320,000
(1 in 100) people suffer from RA in Canada.(1) Prevalence is not split evenly
between genders, since women are three times more likely to be affected than
men.(2)
    Although it can affect people of all ages, the onset of RA usually occurs
between 25-50 years.(3) Symptoms of RA may include joint stiffness, joint
pain, inflammation of the affected areas and an associated reduction in
mobility. These symptoms can be intermittent and vary in severity from patient
to patient. In more severe cases RA can eventually lead to disability. RA
patients are also at a higher risk of developing other conditions, in
particular heart disease, stroke, infections, lung problems and
osteoporosis.(4)

    About UCB

    UCB, Brussels, Belgium (www.ucb-group.com) is a global leader in the
biopharmaceutical industry dedicated to the research, development and
commercialisation of innovative pharmaceutical and biotechnology products in
the fields of central nervous system disorders, allergy/respiratory diseases,
immune and inflammatory disorders and oncology. UCB focuses on securing a
leading position in severe disease categories. Employing around 12,000 people
in over 40 countries, UCB achieved revenue of 3.5 billion euro in 2006 on a
pro forma basis. UCB S.A. is listed on Euronext Brussels. SCHWARZ PHARMA AG
(Monheim, Germany) is a member of the UCB Group.

    About UCB Pharma Canada

    UCB Pharma Canada was officially incorporated in 2006 with the objective
of bringing a new-generation, convenient therapy to the Canadian market for
auto-immune, inflammatory diseases. As a patient-focused organization, UCB
Pharma Canada's is dedicated to bringing new and innovative programs to
patients, and to the specialists who treat them, to help improve the lives of
people living with severe diseases.

    
    References

    1.  http://www.arthritis.ca.

    2.  Panayi G What is RA? National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, June 2006

    3.  Hellier, J et al, HLA-DRB1 genes and patients with late onset
    rheumatoid arthritis, Annals of Rheumatic Disease, 2001;60:531-533

    4.  Firestein G, Rheumatoid Arthritis, ACP Medicine WebMD Publishing,
    August 2004
    





For further information:

For further information: on the UCBeyond Scholarship Program, please
contact: Chrome Communications, (905) 567-1406: Mark Wigmore, ext. 224, (416)
778-5904 or Tiana DiMichele, ext. 225, (416) 666-5331

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