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The following is a review of developments affecting health care in Canada

The information is updated the first week of every month - so ... make this a regular stop in your information gathering activities.

The following information has been compiled from publicly available sources, StratCom does not assume any responsibility for the accuracy or the authenticity of the information and StratCom cannot be held liable for errors.

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Healthcare in Canada - April 1997

BC Cancer launched its Millennium Campaign today, a bold new plan to create a world-class research and treatment centre for excellence in cancer science. BC Cancer is positioning itself to make significant breakthroughs. The new millennium is the target date to have in place the means for finding the cures. The cornerstone of the Millennium Campaign is the construction of a 200,000-square foot research centre and a $100-million fund-raising project to support the plan. The fund-raising target is the largest ever attempted by a health care organization in Canada.

A team of University of Alberta medical researchers has developed a revolutionary new cancer therapy to induce the body to create an enhanced immune system to destroy cancer cells. This promising new treatment will be used in Phase 1 human clinical trials scheduled for June at the University Hospitals in Edmonton. This breakthrough is the result of research conducted by Dr. Lung-Ji Chang, a Heritage researcher, and his research team in the University of Alberta's department of medical microbiology and immunology. The therapy (immunogene therapy) is the result of a unique combination of two genes and includes the gene (B7-2), never before tested in cancer clinical trials. The phase 1 study will target the most common and aggressive form of brain cancer and a highly aggressive form of skin cancer, and will evaluate the safety and toxicity of the vaccine. Briana Bio-Tech Inc., an Edmonton-based biopharmaceutical company, has licensed the research and is funding the clinical trials and the ongoing research and development for this promising technology for at least the next three years. The company has exclusive worldwide distribution rights of this technology.

Patient InfoSYSTEMS, Inc., Rochester, NY has entered into an agreement with Health Alliance (Alliance Santé) Division Astra Pharma, Inc.) in Mississauga, Ontario, to provide its disease management program in the area of asthma. This exclusive program will be incorporated throughout Canada in Health Alliances' Sharing a Healthier Future Program. This program is an initiative developed by Health Alliance to combat Canada's rising healthcare system cost, and offer patients comprehensive and extended personalized healthcare services.

Kingston General Hospital has extended its license to include Hotel Dieu Hospital in a multi-year agreement to install ULTICARE, an enterprise-wide patient-care information system developed by Health Data Sciences Corp., San Bernardino, Calif. The agreement represents a strategic partnership between Hotel Dieu and Kingston General Hospitals. Kingston General recently joined with Hotel Dieu and other healthcare providers in the area to form a unique regional integrated delivery system designed to better deliver quality care to southeast Ontario residents. KGH will continue to provide inpatient acute-care services with more than 400 beds while Hotel Dieu converts its 200-bed acute-care facility into an ambulatory care centre.

Eli Lilly and Company, Eastern Virginia Medical School and McGill University have entered into a licensing agreement regarding the discovery of a gene and its related products that could potentially play a key role in treating diabetes more effectively. Two research teams, led by Aaron L. Vinik, M.D., Ph.D., director of the EVMS Diabetes Research Institute and Lawrence Rosenberg, M.D. Ph.D., director of the McGill Transplantation Surgery Program and the Centre for Pancreatic Diseases at the Montreal General Hospital, have identified a new gene whose products appear to stimulate the regeneration of islet cells, which produce insulin in the pancreas and regulate its production to meet the body's demands.

Med-Chem Health Care Limited, Toronto has announced that it has reached agreement for the purchase of all of the outstanding shares of Flemingdon Medical Laboratories Limited and FML Consultants Inc.,Toronto. Flemingdon and FML collectively operate a medical diagnostic laboratory under the name Flemingdon Medical Laboratories with annual revenues of approximately $6.8 million. Flemingdon Medical Laboratories will bring to Med-Chem Health Care specialized expertise in histopathology.

New guidelines for managing Helicobacter pylori have been generated by the first Canadian Helicobacter pylori Consensus Conference. The guidelines represent a collaboration between specialists, primary care physicians, and government representatives. They have major implications for reducing serious health risks in Canada.

The guidelines specifically identify which patients should be evaluated for Helicobacter pylori (also known as H. pylori) and treated if the bacteria is present. It is estimated that approximately 40% of Canadians have this gastrointestinal infection, although only a proportion develop complications. The guidelines summarize what is currently known about the risks of infection and the benefits of treatment. For further information: Dr. Alan B.R. Thomson, University of Edmonton, Alberta, (403) 492-6490; Dr. Richard H. Hunt, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, (905) 521-2100 ext. 6404.

Canadian Medical Laboratories, Mississauga, ON wishes has acquired Excel Bestview Medical Laboratories and integrated Excel's entire business volume of into its central testing laboratory. Excel Bestview was acquired by Canadian Medical Laboratories immediately following the initial public offering completed by Canadian Medical Laboratories on November 25, 1996. Canadian Medical Laboratories expects the contribution of Excel Bestview to Canadian Medical Laboratories' consolidated earnings will be substantial due to the economies of scale and other synergies to be realized.

Viragen, Inc., Miami, Fla, and the Canadian Red Cross have entered into a collaborative agreement to develop a natural interferon program for Canada.

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* Healthcare in Canada - March 1997
* Healthcare in Canada - February 1997
* Healthcare in Canada - January 1997
* Healthcare in Canada - December 1996
* Healthcare in Canada - November 1996
* Healthcare in Canada - October 1996
* Healthcare in Canada - September 1996
* Healthcare in Canada - August 1996
* Healthcare in Canada - July 1996
* Healthcare in Canada - June 1996

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