Canadian-made research aims at developing treatment to stop the progression of Alzheimer's disease

Readers are referred to the cautionary notes regarding
Forward-looking Information at the end of this release

Listed TSX, Symbol: CNJ

PrioNet Canada researcher at UBC garners industry backing from Cangene Corporation for development of breakthrough Canadian technology aimed at treating Alzheimer's

VANCOUVER AND WINNIPEG, Nov. 10, 2011 /CNW/ - A Vancouver researcher says treatment to stop the progression of Alzheimer's disease may be on the horizon, thanks to backing of his breakthrough work from a leading Canadian biopharmaceutical company.

Cangene Corporation has signed a collaborative research agreement with the University of British Columbia (UBC) under which they will develop the work of Dr. Neil Cashman, Scientific Director of PrioNet Canada, Canada Research Chair in Neurodegeneration and Protein Misfolding at UBC, and a scientist at the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, aimed at developing immune-based therapies for Alzheimer's disease.

Dr. Cashman's work, supported by PrioNet (a Network of Centres of Excellence for research on prion disease and related neurodegenerative disorders), focuses on identifying and validating targets for treating various neurological diseases. Cangene became interested in the program following a recent discovery in which Dr. Cashman, along with other PrioNet researchers, was able to specifically target a unique shape of amyloid beta "oligomers"—small aggregates that Dr. Cashman calls the "bad guys" due to their key role in the progression of Alzheimer's—while sparing normal amyloid beta molecules.

"If we're only attacking the bad guys without harming the normal molecules, then we have a basis for a safe immunotherapy infusion," explains Dr. Cashman. This approach has already been tested in the laboratory on cultured nerve cells with successful results. "PrioNet's initial investment to support this research was integral to generating the scientific results needed to attract industry partners," he says. "Our partnership with Cangene will now help move this technology forward." Cangene has initiated work with UBC on the target identified by Dr. Cashman.

"We're enthusiastic about this partnership with Dr. Cashman, who is a leader in protein misfolding and neurodegenerative diseases. The initial research results from Dr. Cashman's lab, while still at an early stage of development, show promise for development of a novel immunotherapy," says John Sedor, President and CEO of Cangene.

Dr. Cashman adds "I'm optimistic about the development of this solution made possible by Canadian partners—and I believe it's a promising first step towards an effective Canadian-made therapy for this devastating form of dementia."

The partnership between Dr. Cashman's PrioNet research team (based at the Brain Research Centre at UBC and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute) and Cangene was made possible through the efforts of UBC's University-Industry Liaison Office (UILO), which facilitates industry engagement with researchers in an effort to bring technologies to market.

One in 11 Canadians over the age of 65 currently has Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia.

This year alone, one Canadian develops dementia every five minutes. The number of people living with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia is expected to more than double, reaching 1.1 million Canadians within 25 years. Today, 5.4 million Americans are living with the disease. By 2050 it is estimated as many as 16 million Americans will have Alzheimer's disease.


About PrioNet Canada:
One of Canada's Networks of Centres of Excellence, PrioNet Canada ( is leveraging Canada's scientific talent to develop solutions for prion and other related neurodegenerative diseases that impact Canada's health, food and agriculture sectors. The network unites scientists, industry, and public sector partners through its multidisciplinary research projects, training programs, events, and commercialization activities. PrioNet is hosted by the University of British Columbia and the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute in Vancouver.

About Cangene Corporation:
Cangene Corporation is one of Canada's largest and earliest biopharmaceutical companies. It was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Cangene has approximately 700 employees in six locations across North America and its products are sold worldwide. It operates manufacturing facilities in Winnipeg, Manitoba and Baltimore, Maryland where it produces its own products and undertakes contract manufacturing for a number of companies. Cangene operates three U.S. and one Canadian plasma-collection facilities branded as Cangene Plasma Resources. In addition, it has a regulatory affairs, sales and corporate communications office in Toronto, Ontario. Additional information is available at

About The University of British Columbia:
The University of British Columbia (UBC) is one of North America's largest public research and teaching institutions, and one of only two Canadian institutions consistently ranked among the world's 40 best universities. UBC is a place that inspires bold, new ways of thinking that have helped make it a national leader in areas as diverse as community service learning, sustainability and research commercialization.  UBC offers more than 50,000 students a range of innovative programs and attracts $550 million per year in research funding from government, non-profit organizations and industry through 7,000 grants.

About Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute:
Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (VCHRI) ( is the research body of Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, which includes BC's largest academic and teaching health sciences centres: VGH, UBC Hospital, and GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre. In academic partnership with the University of British Columbia, VCHRI brings innovation and discovery to patient care, advancing healthier lives in healthy communities across British Columbia, Canada, and beyond.

Forward-looking and risk information
The reader should be aware that Cangene's businesses are subject to risks and uncertainties that cannot be predicted or quantified; consequently, actual results may differ materially from past results and those expressed or implied by any forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such risks or uncertainties include, but are not limited to: the regulatory environment including the difficulty of predicting regulatory outcomes; changes in the value of the Canadian dollar; the Company's reliance on a small number of customers including government organizations; the demand for new products and the impact of competitive products, service and pricing; availability and cost of raw materials, especially the cost, availability and antibody concentration in plasma; fluctuations in operating results; government policies or actions; progress and cost of clinical trials; reliance on key strategic relationships; costs and possible development delays resulting from use of legal, regulatory or legislative strategies by the Company's competitors; uncertainty related to intellectual property protection and potential costs associated with its defence; the Company's exposure to lawsuits; and other matters beyond control of management. Risks and uncertainties are discussed more extensively in the Company's most recent annual financial statements and management's discussion and analysis, which are available on the Company's website or on SEDAR at

The preceding cautionary statements should be considered in connection with all written or oral statements, especially forward-looking statements, that are made by the Company or by persons acting on its behalf and in conjunction with its periodic filings with Securities Commissions, including those contained in the Company's news releases and most recently filed annual information form. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "expects", "plans", "will", "believes", "estimates", "anticipates", "intends", "may", "bodes" and other words of similar meaning (including negative and grammatical variations). Should known or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, or should management's assumptions prove inaccurate, actual results could vary materially from those anticipated. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly make or update any forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable law.

"Cangene" is a trademark belonging to Cangene Corporation.

SOURCE Cangene Corporation

For further information:

Media information or to set up interviews:
Gail Bergman, Gail Bergman PR
Tel: (905) 886-1340 or (905) 886-3345

To contact Cangene Corporation:
Jean Compton, Cangene Corporation
Tel: (416) 675-8280

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