Pfizer Canada Inc.

Pfizer Canada Inc.

February 16, 2009 09:00 ET

B.C.-Led PROOF Centre for Excellence Partners With Pfizer Canada in Fight Against Vital Organ Failure

Researchers focus on the identification of biomarkers to predict and accelerate diagnosis of heart, lung and kidney failure

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 16, 2009) - Pfizer Canada and the PROOF (PRevention Of Organ Failure) Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research announced today they are teaming up in the fight against vital organ failure (heart, lung and kidney). In Canada, the personal, societal and economic consequences of this type of organ failure cost our health care system more than $35 billion a year. This serious health issue is fueled by the parallel epidemics of obesity, diabetes, and smoking-related conditions.

Pfizer Canada will contribute $1 million to the PROOF Centre to fund research into biomarkers - biological molecules that indicate disease - which are at the core of the march towards more personalized health care. The funding will go towards new biomarker initiatives in which the PROOF Centre will be engaging in shortly, and eventually will expand to cover relevant projects that are led by the Centre focusing on the translation of biomarkers into clinical practice.

"Efforts to create an environment conducive to research and development investments are continuing in British Columbia," says Paul Levesque, President of Pfizer Canada. "Pfizer is proud to contribute to the research capacity in British Columbia by supporting this PROOF initiative, which is being led by an exceptional group of scientists and clinicians. We believe that to be truly healthy it takes more than medication and we share PROOF's goal: to develop personalized tools that could one day more effectively prevent, diagnose and treat patients suffering from heart, lung and kidney failure."

The PROOF Centre, hosted by the University of British Columbia, was one of 11 Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research announced by the Government of Canada in February 2008 when it received nearly $15 million in federal funding through the Networks of Centres of Excellence ( The PROOF Centre's goal is to move away from drug-only strategies towards biomarker-guided prevention and effective early detection of primary diseases that cause organ failure. By speeding up the commercialization process, the PROOF Centre hopes to make their discoveries part of daily medical practice as quickly as possible.

"The PROOF Centre is committed to leading the way in personalized healthcare for the reduction of heart, lung and kidney disease," said Dr. Bruce McManus, Director. "This additional funding from Pfizer Canada will help us greatly to make significant strides."


- Cardiovascular disease (heart disease, diseases of the blood vessels and stroke) accounts for the death of more Canadians than any other disease. Every 7 minutes in Canada, someone dies from heart disease or stroke.(1)

- In 2004 cardiovascular disease accounted for: 32% of all deaths in Canada (72,338 deaths).(2)

- Heart disease and stroke costs the Canadian economy more than $18 billion every year in physician services, hospital costs, lost wages and decreased productivity.(3)

- Globally, cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death and is projected to remain so. An estimated 17.5 million people died from cardiovascular disease in 2005, representing 30 % of all global deaths.(4)

- In 2006, there were 33,832 Canadians on renal replacement therapy and this number is expected to double over the next 10 years. Each day, an average of 14 Canadians learns that their kidneys have failed. Of the 4,195 Canadians on the waiting list for a transplant as of December 31, 2007, 2,963 (71%) were waiting for a kidney.(5)

- Respiratory diseases exert a significant economic impact on the Canadian health care system. Presently, almost 6.5% of total health care costs were related to respiratory diseases (not including lung cancer). This accounts for nearly $5.70 billion in direct (visible) costs of health care, such as for hospitalization, physician visits, research and drugs, as well as an additional $6.72 billion for less visible (indirect) expenses associated with disability and mortality.(6)

About PROOF Centre

The PROOF Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research is supported by the Government of Canada through a Networks of Centres of Excellence program. The PROOF Centre's host institution is the University of British Columbia. The PROOF Centre is led by Drs. Bruce McManus (Director), George Schreiner (Chair of the Board), and Dr. Michael Hayden, (Chair, Translational Advisory Committee). The PROOF Centre discovers, develops and commercializes biological markers (biomarkers) to predict, diagnose and manage heart, lung and kidney failure. The PROOF Centre takes a unique, multi-disciplinary approach, serving as a hub for industry, academia, and government as well as for patients and the public. The PROOF Centre's focus on biomarkers it is driven by a desire to lead in the pursuit of "personalized medicine" - giving each individual the right treatment, at the right time, in the right amount - which will reduce the enormous burden of organ failure around the world.

About Pfizer Canada

Pfizer Canada Inc. is the Canadian operation of Pfizer Inc, the world's leading pharmaceutical company. Pfizer discovers, develops, manufactures and markets prescription medicines for humans and animals. Pfizer Canada is a leader in Canadian healthcare research, investing more than $137 million in research and development activities, contributions and partnerships in 2007. The company has invested more than $1 billion in R&D since 2000. Pfizer Canada's commitment to helping Canadians live happier, healthier and longer lives extends beyond medication. To learn more about Pfizer Canada's More than Medication philosophy and programs, visit

(1) Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada:, January 2009.

(2) Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada:, January 2009.

(3) Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada:, January 2009.

(4) World Health Organization:, January 2009.

(5) The Kidney Foundation:, January 2009.

(6) Public Health Agency of Canada, Life and Breath: Respiratory Disease in Canada:, January 2009.

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