Government of Canada and AllerGen NCE Inc. Invest $12 Million to Improve the Health of Children Suffering from Asthma and Allergies



    HAMILTON, ON, June 6 /CNW Telbec/ - Mike Wallace, Member of Parliament
for Burlington, announced today, on behalf of the Honourable Tony Clement,
Minister of Health, a joint investment of $12 million over six years for a
research project that will investigate the genetic and environmental factors
that influence the development of asthma and allergies in children. This
project, known as the CHILD study, is co-funded by the Canadian Institutes of
Health Research (CIHR) and AllerGen NCE Inc. CIHR and AllerGen are investing
$6 million each over six years.
    "Asthma and allergies are serious issues for hundreds of thousands of
children and their parents, and we are committed to ensuring that we provide
healthy environments for our children to live in," said Mr. Wallace.
    Dr. Peter Liu, Scientific Director at the Canadian Institutes of Health
Research, said, "This research will gather greatly needed information on air
quality and genetics. We hope this research will help us reduce the number of
Canadian children suffering from asthma, allergies and respiratory diseases."
    Dr. Malcolm Sears, Professor of Medicine at McMaster University and
Research Director of the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health is leading
the study, which will follow 5,000 Canadian children from pregnancy through
early childhood and investigate the roles of indoor and outdoor environmental
exposure, infections, nutrition and genetics in the development of asthma and
allergies. Expectant mothers will be recruited for the study in four regional
centres across the country - Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Toronto.
    "This study will help us understand why allergies and asthma are common
problems in children, and it will help develop new therapies, medications,
prevention and management strategies to control these chronic illnesses,"
explained AllerGen Scientific Director Dr. Judah Denburg, Professor of
Medicine at McMaster University.
    "Almost one in five Canadians suffers from asthma and one in three have
allergies. The incidence of asthma and allergic disease have steadily grown
over the past 30 years," Dr. Denburg said.
    "The CHILD study will not only benefit the treatment and control of
asthma and allergies," explains Dr. Sears, "but the home-based environmental
assessments of indoor air quality may well influence future home construction
regulations."
    "This unprecedented study will examine the beginnings of diseases that
cause so much distress to many Canadians," said Dr. John Kelton, Dean and
Vice-President of the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University. "At
McMaster we've had a focus on respiratory and allergy conditions for more than
40 years, so we're glad to host AllerGen and be the headquarters for this
important research."

    The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of
Canada's agency for health research. CIHR's mission is to create new
scientific knowledge and to catalyze its translation into improved health,
more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian
health-care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and
support to more than 11,000 health researchers and trainees across Canada.
www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca

    AllerGen NCE Inc., the Allergy, Genes and Environment research network,
is funded through the federal Networks of Centres of Excellence program. The
Networks of Centres of Excellence Canada is a joint initiative of the Natural
Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Canadian Institutes of Health
Research, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and Industry
Canada. www.allergen-nce.ca

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/




For further information:

For further information: Laryssa Waler, Press Secretary, Office of the
Honourable Tony Clement, (613) 957-0200; Gail Bergman, AllerGen NCE Inc.,
(905) 886-1340; Indira Tarachandra, AllerGen NCE Inc., (905) 886-4091,
info@gailbergmanpr.com; David Coulombe, CIHR Media Relations, (613) 941-4563,
mediarelations@cihr-irsc.gc.ca


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