Arthritis Research in Ontario Gets a Boost



    TORONTO, Oct. 3 /CNW/ - Research in arthritis and other rheumatic
diseases in Canada will be significantly enhanced by the establishment of a
new research Chair at the University of Toronto. The first holder of the
Pfizer Chair in Rheumatology is Dr. Claire Bombardier, Director of the
Division of Rheumatology Research at the University of Toronto.
    The Pfizer Chair in Rheumatology will support new and ongoing research at
the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine's Rheumatology Division. Pfizer
Canada is donating $1.5 million toward the funding of the $2 million Chair.
This Chair will bring together University of Toronto affiliated researchers
and trainees to provide innovative approaches to the prevention, diagnosis and
treatment of rheumatic diseases.
    "Pfizer Canada has had a longtime relationship with the University of
Toronto. We are extremely grateful for their continued support. The research
undertaken by the recipient of the Pfizer Chair in Rheumatology in our
Department of Medicine will further our understanding of rheumatologic disease
and foster new interdisciplinary collaborations that will allow us to harness
the depth and breadth of expertise within our research community," says Dr.
Catharine Whiteside, Dean, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto.

    Focus on unmet needs
    --------------------
    "There is still much to be learned about rheumatic diseases. Our
population is aging, and at the same time there is a shortage of
rheumatologists. We feel that our mandate is to focus our research efforts on
unmet needs in rheumatology, such as improved access to early diagnosis and
appropriate innovative therapies," says Dr. Claire Bombardier.
    "Pfizer Canada has been committed to the area of research and treatment
in arthritis for many years. We are pleased to further build the pipeline of
Canadian researchers in arthritis by partnering with the University of Toronto
Faculty of Medicine's Division of Rheumatology, the oldest and largest program
of its kind in Canada and one of the most respected in the world," says Paul
Lévesque, President and Chief Executive Officer, Pfizer Canada Inc. "Our
support of this Chair is another example of Pfizer Canada's substantial
investment in health research in Ontario. It is our hope that by continuing to
invest in research we will bring new solutions to patients that desperately
need new treatment options."
    Arthritis and other rheumatic diseases are among the most prevalent
chronic health conditions in Canada, and are a major cause of morbidity,
disability and health care utilization. One fifth of the Canadian adult
population suffers from arthritis. It is estimated that it affects 4.5 million
people in Canada and that this number will climb to 6.4 million by 2026. The
burden, both in human and economic terms, is immense and predicted to escalate
as our population ages. Every year, millions of Canadians suffer unrelenting
pain, reduced mobility, loss of independence, and permanent disability as a
result of arthritis and other rheumatic diseases. As with cancer and heart
diseases, rheumatic diseases touch many lives, and often prove challenging to
treat effectively.

    About the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine:
    ----------------------------------------------------
    The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto is home to Canada's
pre-eminent medical school. Founded in 1843, the Faculty of Medicine
catapulted onto the world stage with Sir Frederick Banting and Charles Best's
discovery of insulin in the 1920s. Today, the Faculty of Medicine ranks among
the top institutions in the world, with 10 fully affiliated hospitals and
15 community affiliated sites. To learn more about the Faculty of Medicine,
please visit www.facmed.utoronto.ca.

    About Pfizer Canada Inc.
    ------------------------
    Pfizer Canada Inc. is the Canadian operation of Pfizer Inc, the world's
leading pharmaceutical company. Pfizer discovers, develops, manufactures and
markets prescription medicines for humans and animals. Pfizer Inc invests more
than US$7 billion annually in R&D to discover and develop innovative
life-saving and life-enhancing medicines in a wide range of therapeutic areas,
including arthritis, cardiovascular disease, endocrinology, HIV/AIDS,
infectious disease, neurological disease, oncology, ophthalmology and smoking
cessation. In Canada, the company is one of the top investors in Canadian R&D,
investing more than $190 million in 2005. For more information, visit
www.pfizer.ca.





For further information:

For further information: For media inquiries or interview requests,
University of Toronto, Paul Cantin, Associate Director, Strategic
Communications and Public Relations, Office of Advancement, Faculty of
Medicine, (416) 978-2890; Pfizer Canada Inc., Sylvie Tessier, Senior Manager,
Corporate Communications, 1-866-973-4937

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