Canadian Gene Cure Foundation

November 01, 2005 08:00 ET

Canadian Gene Cure Foundation: Diagnosis of Rare Gene Mutation May Spare Certain Type 1 Diabetes Children Painful Insulin Injections

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 1, 2005) -

November 3rd is Jeans for Genes Day: a fundraiser supporting pediatric genetic research

The Canadian Gene Cure Foundation (CGCF) is pleased to award a grant of $65,000 to Dr. Constantin Polychronakos, a renowned McGill University endocrinologist. Dr. Polychronakos is studying the genetic basis of Type 1 (juvenile) Diabetes which requires daily insulin injections. His initial research has confirmed that children, whose disease is the result of a rare genetic mutation, can be treated with oral medication rather than painful injections. In addition, oral medication allows the children to produce their own insulin, which assures near-perfect control of their blood sugar which can never be achieved with insulin injections.

The grant was made possible from money raised through the Foundation's Jeans for Genes Day®, a national campaign that raises funds to support research into the causes and treatment of, and cures for genetic diseases that affect children in Canada. This year's Jeans for Genes Day® will take place on November 3.

"Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases that afflict children. Our research provides an opportunity for some diabetics to live a more normal life. About 1% or 1000 children in Canada may be able to take a pill rather than injections. This could be the next best thing to curing their diabetes," said Dr. Polychronakos, Professor Department of Pediatrics and Human Genetics, McGill University Health Center.

"It also demonstrates the importance of understanding the cause of disease at the genetic level. The importance of genetic disease research cannot be overemphasized," said Dr. Ron Woznow, president of the Canadian Gene Cure Foundation. "Today we have unprecedented opportunities to reduce the burden of inherited disease by funding physicians like Dr. Polychronakos who are committed to finding better treatments and cures for children."

This year the CGCF plans to raise even more money for research into pediatric genetic diseases with its new corporate partner Bootlegger. From October 10th to November 3rd, Bootlegger will generously donate $5 from every pair of jeans sold. This contribution is in addition to funding raised by companies, hospitals and schools across Canada that shows their support on Jeans for Genes Day®. By making a minimum $5 donation (in person or online in return for a Jeans for Genes Day® pin individuals then wear jeans to work on Jeans for Genes Day®, and every dollar raised goes directly to research funding projects such as that of Dr. Polychronakos.

One of the greatest challenges facing the CGCF is making Canadian population aware of the true impact of genetic diseases. Three out of five Canadians will be affected by a genetic disease thus Canadians need to understand the urgent need for ongoing funding for medical genetics research.

About the Canadian Gene Cure Foundation and Jeans for Genes Day:

The Canadian Gene Cure Foundation is a registered Canadian charitable organization, formed in 1999 to raise much-needed funds for medical genetics research in Canada. Since 1999, the Foundation has been organizing Jeans for Genes Day, a national one-day event. On Jeans for Genes Day individuals within companies, schools, universities and hospitals wear their jeans and receive a double-helix pin in return for a minimum $5 donation. This year pins will be available to the general public through all Bootlegger and Purdy's Chocolate stores across Canada. One hundred percent of the money raised will fund research to find cures and treatments for genetic diseases that affect children, such as Cystic Fibrosis, Progeria, Juvenile Diabetes, Diabetes, Muscular Dystrophy, Tay-Sachs Disease and Epilepsy, to name only a few.

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