MDS Inc. and Dr. Donald Rix announce $4,000,000 in Gifts to BC Cancer Foundation and BC Children's Hospital Foundation



    Funds will be used for research into early detection of lung cancer and
    Huntington disease

    VANCOUVER, June 14 /CNW/ - MDS Inc. (TSX: MDS; NYSE:   MDZ), a global life
sciences company and Dr. Donald Rix announced today that they will give
$4 million to the BC Cancer Foundation and the BC Children's Hospital
Foundation to mark the sale of the medical diagnostics business in British
Columbia to an affiliate of Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System
(OMERS).
    The gifts are being made in recognition of Dr. Rix's role in establishing
and growing the diagnostics business in British Columbia during a long and
successful partnership with MDS over the past two decades. The organizations
will each receive $2 million to support innovative research.
    These gifts will be used to:

    
    -  Create an Early Lung Cancer Detection and Translational Research
       Program at the BC Cancer Agency;

    -  Support research into Huntington disease at the Centre for Molecular
       Medicine and Therapeutics at the Child & Family Research Institute -
       the research partner of the BC Children's Hospital.
    

    "MDS is proud of the contributions that we have made with Dr. Rix to
health care in British Columbia," said Stephen DeFalco, President and CEO of
MDS. "As we conclude our partnership with Dr. Rix, we want to show our
appreciation for his unique contributions to the diagnostic services business
in British Columbia and his continued support of important health related
issues."
    "These gifts recognize our appreciation for the patients, doctors,
employees and many others who have used the laboratory services in British
Columbia over the past two decades," said Dr. Donald Rix. "At the same time,
they recognize MDS's commitment to advancing health care and the well being of
people with this commitment to the incredible work of these two
organizations."
    The BC Cancer Agency is renowned world wide for leading edge research and
its population-based approach to cancer care, including early detection,
treatment and care. The Early Lung Cancer Detection and Translational Research
Program at the BC Cancer Agency will be set up under the direction of the
Agency's chair of the lung tumour group, Dr. Stephen Lam. This program will
support early detection of lung cancer to help reduce the number of deaths
caused by the disease. New molecular markers will be used in this research to
determine which people are most at risk for lung cancer and to help detect and
treat the disease more effectively. The research will also seek to identify
small but aggressive cancers that spread rapidly to develop more effective
treatments.
    Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death for both men and
women in North America. According to the BC Cancer Agency, lung cancer is
responsible for more deaths than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined.
While survival rates from most other types of cancer have improved since the
1970s, lung cancer survival rates have not improved significantly. In British
Columbia, over 2,400 people are diagnosed with lung cancer each year, and only
15% of them will survive longer than five years. The Canadian Cancer Society
estimates that 23,300 Canadians will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year
and 19,900 will die from it. On a global scale, lung cancer causes 1.3 million
deaths each year according to the World Health Organization.
    "This gift is an important catalyst that will ultimately help us to
detect lung cancer earlier and save lives," said Dr. Stephen Lam, head of lung
cancer programs at the BC Cancer Agency. "Currently lung cancer survival rates
are about 15%. With early detection, we are hopeful that we can increase
survival to 70%-90%. This new funding will lead the way for other people to
support research that will make a difference for lung cancer patients."
    The Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics (CMMT) is a
world-leading research centre at BC Children's Hospital's Child & Family
Research Institute. The CMMT is dedicated to advancing fundamental
understanding of the molecular function and structure of genes as the key to
improved diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of health problems in children
and adults.
    Under the leadership of geneticist Dr. Michael Hayden, the donated funds
will be used to support research into Huntington disease. Dr. Hayden's work
has included the development of predictive testing for the disease,
achievement of an understanding of the basic defect behind Huntington disease
and work on the development of novel therapies for the disease. Huntington
disease affects about one in every 10,000 people in North America. A parent
with the disease has a 50% chance of passing it on to their child. Symptoms
typically appear in the mid 30s to mid 40s.
    "This incredible gift from a remarkable individual and company will
provide significant and crucial support to allow our research findings to be
translated into benefits for patients," said Dr. Michael Hayden, Director of
CMMT. "We are immensely grateful for this farsighted contribution."

    About MDS

    MDS Inc. (TSX: MDS; NYSE:   MDZ) is a global life sciences company that
provides market-leading products and services for the development of drugs and
diagnosis and treatment of disease. We are a leading global provider of
pharmaceutical contract research, medical isotopes for molecular imaging,
radiotherapeutics, and analytical instruments. MDS Inc. has more than
6,200 highly skilled people in 28 countries. Find out more at www.mdsinc.com
or by calling 1-888-MDS-7222, 24 hours a day.

    About the BC Cancer Foundation

    Established in 1935, The BC Cancer Foundation raises funds to support
research and enhancements to care at the BC Cancer Agency. The BC Cancer
Agency, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, is committed to
reducing the incidence of cancer, reducing the mortality from cancer, and
improving the quality of life of those living with cancer. It provides a
comprehensive cancer control program for the people of British Columbia by
working with community partners to deliver a range of oncology services,
including prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment, research,
education, supportive care, rehabilitation and palliative care.

    About BC Children's Hospital Foundation

    BC Children's Hospital Foundation works with communities to raise funds
for essentials such as medical equipment, research into childhood diseases and
a range of child health education and training programs. Activities include
major gift fundraising, planned giving and a variety of annual programs, such
as events, radiothons and telethons. In 2005/2006, the Foundation had revenues
of $40.9 million. As steward of philanthropic donations to Children's
Hospital, Sunny Hill Health Centre and the Child & Family Research Institute,
the Foundation issues charitable receipts and ensures donations are allocated
to the areas to which donors have designated their support. For more
information, please go to www.bcchf.ca.





For further information:

For further information: Investors: Sharon Mathers, Senior
Vice-President, Investor Relations and External Communications, MDS Inc.,
(416) 675-6777 x 34721, sharon.mathers@mdsinc.com; Media: Catherine Melville,
Director, External Communications, MDS Inc., (416) 675-6777 x 32265,
catherine.melville@mdsinc.com; Penny Noble, Senior Director Public Affairs, BC
Cancer Foundation, (604) 707-5902, pnoble@bccancer.bc.ca; Stephen Forgacs,
Director, Communications, BC Children's Hospital Foundation, (604) 875-2338,
sforgacs@cw.bc.ca

Organization Profile

Nordion Inc.

More on this organization


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890