JDRF Appears Before Standing Committee On Industry

    OTTAWA, June 10 /CNW Telbec/ - The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
Canada (JDRF) appeared before the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and
Technology today and made the case for establishing a Canadian-based clinical
trial network for Type 1 diabetes research.
    Appearing before the committee as part of its consultations on the role
that science and technology play in Canadian society, Andrew McKee - President
and Chief Executive Officer of JDRF - called on the Government of Canada to
support the creation of a clinical trial network for Type 1 diabetes research.
The network would be developed through a strategic partnership between JDRF
and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).
    "The clinical trial network that we are proposing adheres to many of the
goals outlined in the Government of Canada's Science & Technology Strategy,
including promoting world-class scientific excellence, focusing on applied
research, encouraging partnerships, and enhancing accountability," said
Mr. McKee. "An agreement in principle has been signed between JDRF and CIHR.
What is needed now is a commitment from the federal government."
    Mr. McKee also stressed that the proposed clinical trial network conforms
to a number of the areas that are being examined during the Industry
Committee's consultations on science and technology, including the
commercialization of scientific research, federal funding for
publicly-performed science and technology, and Canada's lead role in science
and technology around the world.
    In his remarks before the committee, Mr. McKee asked the federal
government to fund a 10-year strategic partnership between JDRF and CIHR with
an initial five-year investment of $125 million, followed by a renewable round
of funding in the second five years. The partnership would be phased in over
five years, with the objective of creating a CIHR clinical trial network with
the JDRF initiative as the first project.
    Type 1 diabetes is a non-preventable, autoimmune disease and the most
severe form of diabetes - striking children and young adults. This chronic
disease leaves children and youth dependent on insulin for life with the
constant threat of developing complications such as kidney failure, blindness,
nerve damage, lower limb amputations, heart attacks and strokes. Independent
research shows that more than 150,000 Canadians live with Type 1 diabetes and
the disease is expected to cost Canada's healthcare system $7 billion over the
coming 10 years, with a total burden on the economy of $13.5 billion.
    "Canada's world-class research community agrees that there is a clear and
immediate need to establish a clinical trial network for Type 1 diabetes,"
said Mr. McKee. "Canada has long been a world leader in diabetes breakthroughs
and the federal government has an opportunity to build on this legacy with a
clinical trial network."
    A clinical trial network will help researchers reduce the prevalence of
Type 1 diabetes; implement clinical trial validated best practices; provide
clinical trial innovation and management; and facilitate a national knowledge
analysis, data and technology network. Currently, JDRF has established Centres
of Excellence at the University of Alberta and McGill University, and has
created successful clinical trial networks in Australia and the United States.

    About Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Canada:

    Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) is the lead charitable
funder and advocate of Type 1 diabetes research worldwide. The mission of JDRF
is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of
research. JDRF funding and leadership is associated with most major scientific
breakthroughs in Type 1 diabetes research to date. In fact, JDRF funds a major
portion of all Type 1 diabetes research worldwide, more than any other
nongovernmental source of funding. In 2007, JDRF Canada provided $8 million to
diabetes research. Worldwide, JDRF is responsible for more than $1.2 billion
in direct funding.

For further information:

For further information: Joel Baglole, Senior Consultant, Government
Relations Hill & Knowlton Ottawa, (613) 238-4371, Fax: (613) 238-8642,
joel.baglole@hillandknowlton.ca, www.jdrf.ca

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