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Monday, November 3 2008
Press release

DePuy Spine Canada Inc. is donating $1,150,000 to Create the Academic Chair in Pediatric Spinal Deformity of Sainte-Justine University Hospital Centre

Montreal, Nov. 3, 2008 - Today, the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Centre (UHC) is creating an academic chair in spinal deformities to be held by Dr. Stefan Parent, an orthopedic surgeon and researcher at Sainte-Justine’s Research Center as well as a professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Montreal. With the help of the $1,150,000 investment from DePuy Spine Canada Inc, the research team will focus on clinical research and teaching as well as the development of innovative surgery techniques for the treatment of scoliosis.

Idiopathic scoliosis represents the most common spinal deformity, affecting 2-3% of the population, especially young people between 10 and 18 years old. Surgical correction of scoliosis, a treatment that involves the fusion of several spinal segments and an improvement in the mobility and flexibility of the spine, is associated with a high risk of complications. Over the last 25 years, surgical techniques have evolved, but the long-term outcome still raises many questions.

How to Improve Scoliosis Treatment

The primary objective of the Chair is to develop new approaches to assess the risk of scoliosis progression through the use of 3D measurements of the vertebrae and the pelvis taken during the first medical examination.

Which curves will develop? Which ones will remain stable? Which ones will progress during growth and which ones will progress at the end of this period? Are there any other methods that predict progression? These are some of the questions that will guide Dr. Parent’s work over the next few years.

His clinical research activities will focus on a 3-year prospective study of 350 scoliosis patients, a 3D evaluation of the condition of the patients aimed at screening the risk of progression as well as the development of a clinical research unit over a span of 5 years.

“The aims we are pursuing consist in finding and proposing ways to avoid or reduce the need for invasive surgery. Early detection of the risk of progression of scoliosis will have a significant impact on the choice and time of the intervention. Thus, the efficacy of a well-adapted treatment offered early on will help to increase the likelihood of treating patients successfully and improving their quality of life,” claims the Chairholder.

DePuy Spine Canada Inc. - A Major Partner Committed to the Cause of Children

DePuy Spine Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company, has worked and partnered with leading clinicians, researchers and thought leaders to develop products to treat spine disorders for over 20 years. The company is committed to advancing the knowledge of all healthcare professionals and their patients in addressing spinal pathologies.

The company is generously donating a sum of $1,150,000 to create an academic chair that will provide Dr. Parent and his team with the optimal conditions to promote healthcare and research in the field of musculoskeletal diseases. “We are confident that this association will lead to new innovations,” points out Karim Kadhr, VP – Marketing and Sales at DePuy Spine Canada Inc., “and that ultimately it will be very instrumental in the continuous improvement of healthcare and the quality of life of children.”

Sainte-Justine Maintains its Leadership through Innovation

The expertise of Sainte-Justine’s investigators in musculoskeletal diseases and movement sciences is recognized around the world in the fields of 3D evaluation, clinical research and pioneering surgical techniques based on an integrative approach to molecular biology as well as the development of virtual surgery software and scoliosis screening tests to name but a few of their many innovations.

«Within the framework of the strategic plan of the Sainte-Justine UHC, the “Musculoskeletal Diseases and Movement Sciences” research axis was identified as one of the six axes of excellence in which Sainte-Justine distinguishes itself both here and abroad. Within this axis, Dr. Parent’s work will help our institution gain national and international standing in the specific field of spinal deformity surgery,” states Dr. Guy A. Rouleau, the Director of the Research Center.

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About the Sainte-Justine Hospital Foundation
The Sainte-Justine Hospital Foundation’s mission is to mobilize the community and support the Sainte-Justine UHC in its commitment to excellence by offering one of the best levels of healthcare in the world to children today and in the future.

About the Sainte-Justine UHC
The Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center is one of the largest mother-child centers in Canada and one of the four most important pediatric centers in North America. Sainte-Justine has 450 beds, admits 19,000 patients a year and sees 260,000 outpatients annually. Its workforce is made up of more than 4,000 employees. The CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center employs 177 investigators and offers training to 402 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. It conducts important clinical and fundamental research aimed at better understanding the health issues that mothers, fetuses, children and adolescents may experience in order to optimize diagnostic and therapeutic solutions as well as propose effective prevention programs. The CHU Sainte-Justine celebrated its hundredth anniversary in 2007 and, last December, it gained official status as a Hospital for Health Promotion by the World Health Organization (WHO).

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