Media Releases

Roche Canada Supports University of British Columbia

– Dr. Ada Man to focus on vasculitis and scleroderma –

                                                                                     

Mississauga, ON – August 22, 2011 – Roche Canada announced today its support of a Vasculitis and Scleroderma Fellowship through the Division of Rheumatology at the University of British Columbia (UBC).  Dr. Ada Man, a recent graduate of the UBC rheumatology residency program, is the recipient of the one-year Fellowship.  When the Fellowship is complete, Dr. Man will be the first specialist in Western Canada trained to treat people with severe forms of inflammatory vascular disease.  Dr. Man’s training will take place at Boston University, MA, as there is no fellowship program for this specialty in Western Canada.  

“To advance the care of people with lesser-known autoimmune diseases, such as vasculitis and scleroderma, Roche Canada recognizes the need to invest in clinicians and their research,” said Anne Elsley-Swan, Vice President, Specialty Care, Roche Canada.  “We are pleased to grant Dr. Man the Vasculitis and Scleroderma Fellowship because we believe her specialized training will benefit Canadian autoimmune patients.”

Vasculitis and scleroderma are rare autoimmune disorders that occur when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue.  The term vasculitis represents a group of diseases, which primarily affect the small blood vessels of the kidneys, lungs, sinuses, and a variety of other organs.  [i]   Wegener’s granulomatosis and microscopic polyangiitis are two major forms of systemic vasculitis. [ii]  Scleroderma, often referred to as systemic sclerosis, is a progressive and chronic tissue disorder.  It causes thickening, hardening and scarring of the skin and other organs.  In Canada, there are approximately 4,000 cases of vasculitis, and 530 new cases in patients over 15 years of age are diagnosed each year.  [iii]  It is estimated there are as many as 40,000 cases of scleroderma in Canada. [iv] 

“Until the establishment of the Roche Canada Vasculitis and Scleroderma Fellowship, we did not have a highly specialized vasculitis fellowship program, or a dedicated vasculitis expert, in British Columbia,” said Dr. Kam Shojania, Head of the Division of Rheumatology and Postgraduate Program Director at the University of British Columbia. “With Dr. Man now able to focus on vasculitis and scleroderma training in Boston, she will be gaining invaluable expertise and will be sharing it with us to benefit patients in British Columbia and Western Canada.”

Roche Canada innovates and brings to market treatment options for autoimmune disorders.  Working in the area of autoimmune disease has revealed many patient care and treatment gaps, especially among the rarer forms of rheumatic diseases.

“The Roche Fellowship will allow me to devote my focus and resources to vasculitis and scleroderma – two areas with significant unmet medical need,” said Dr. Ada Man, rheumatologist and recipient of the one-year Fellowship.  “I look forward to the opportunity to share my clinical insight with colleagues at UBC and in Canada so Canadian patient needs are addressed.”

About Roche

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics.  Roche is the world’s largest biotech company with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS.  Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management.  Roche’s personalized healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients.

In 2010, Roche had over 80,000 employees worldwide and invested over 9 billion Swiss francs in R&D. Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group.  Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan.

Roche Canada was founded in 1931.  The company employs approximately 900 people across the country, with its pharmaceuticals head office located in Mississauga, Ontario and diagnostics division based in Laval, Quebec.  Roche Canada is actively involved in local communities, investing in charitable organizations and partnering with healthcare institutions across the country.  For more information, visit www.rochecanada.com.

 

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For more information:

Laura Pagnotta                                              

Roche Canada                                               

905-542-5853                                     

laura.pagnotta@roche.com              

References

 [i]   U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  National Institutes of Health.  http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/vas/vas_all.html.  Accessed July 6, 2011.

 [ii]  Hoffman, Gary S., Specks, Ulrich.  Arthritis & Rheumatism.  Official Journal of the American College of Rheumatology.  Vol. 41, No. 9, 1998. pp 1521 – 1537.

 [iii]  2010 Canadian Statistics (2008 forecast: MORSE Group).

 [iv] Scleroderma Society of Canada.  http://www.scleroderma.ca/who-develops.php.  Accessed August 12, 2011.

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