Personal Stories and Science Inspire Hope

    Canadian Arthritis Network to host its 8th Annual Scientific Conference

    TORONTO, Oct. 16 /CNW/ - Fifteen years ago, 62-year-old Jean Légaré was
in a wheelchair due to debilitating Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Today he
credits research and new treatments for giving him back his life and
eliminating the need for a wheelchair. The Quebec man, diagnosed at 38 with
RA, has been a tireless advocate for the importance and funding of arthritis
research. This November he will receive an honourary doctorate from the
University of Laval for his diligent efforts. His success story is just one of
many that inspires Canadian scientists and clinical researchers at the
Canadian Arthritis Network's (CAN) scientific conference each year.
    "We are very proud of Jean and all of the current and past members of
CAN's Consumer Advisory Council," says Dr. Monique Gignac, Co-Scientific
Director of the Canadian Arthritis Network. "We showcase their stories at
CAN's Annual Scientific Conference because these people are an integral
component of CAN and they remind arthritis scientists and clinical researchers
who their work benefits."
    Leading members of the Canadian and international arthritis community are
convening in Toronto today for CAN's 8th Annual Scientific Conference. Over
the next few days (October 16-18), they will discuss issues of better care and
improved treatments for the nearly 4.5 million Canadians who suffer from
arthritis and other rheumatic conditions. Arthritis causes more pain and long
term disability than other chronic diseases and affects young and old. It
poses a significant burden on the Canadian economy of approximately
$5.9 billion in 2008 with long term disability accounting for $4.6 billion(1).
    Dr. Claire Bombardier, Co-Scientific Director of the Canadian Arthritis
Network, is excited by this year's program. "We have some outstanding speakers
this year and we have invited representatives of research organizations from
around the world to join us in discussions for strengthening international
partnerships. I'm optimistic that we will be announcing some exciting
collaborations that result from the next few days."
    The 8th Annual Scientific Conference will focus on themes that explore
pain research; preparing teens to manage their arthritis as they move to
adulthood; successful models of arthritis care for widespread adoption; and,
understanding the complexity of arthritis in basic science and the patient
population and making sense of it for different user groups. A symposium
specially directed at clinicians is entitled: The Right Drug for the Right
People at the Right Time. The scientific program begins tomorrow at 8:15 a.m.,
(October 17) in the Grand Ballroom of the Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton
Centre (525 Bay St.).
    Selected presenters from the conference will also be speaking on the
theme "Then and Now: 60 Years of Arthritis Research" at a free public event
being held tonight (October 16), from 7-9 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom. This
event is co-hosted by CAN and The Arthritis Society and media are encouraged
to attend.
    CAN would like to thank the following sponsors for their support: Pfizer,
Abbott, Roche, AMGEN, UCB, Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada, Schering-Plough,
Servier, Merck & Co., Inc., and sanofi aventis.

    Attention broadcast media: a Canadian Arthritis Network DVD that contains
b-roll and testimonials is available for broadcast use. Please inquire if

    About the Canadian Arthritis Network

    The Canadian Arthritis Network (CAN) ( is a
not-for-profit organization, funded by the Government of Canada's Networks of
Centres of Excellence (, to support arthritis research and
development and to facilitate the commercialization of its Network
Investigators' discoveries. CAN is the single point of contact that links 179
leading Canadian arthritis researchers and clinicians, 45 Canadian academic
institutions, The Arthritis Society, pharmaceutical and biotechnology
companies, and government.

    (1) These figures are based on findings from a 1998 study ($4.4 billion
        and $3.4 billion respectively) and have been adjusted for inflation.

For further information:

For further information: Stacey Johnson, Director of Communications,
(416) 586-4685, Toronto (office), October 16-18, please call (416) 712-4448

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