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A New National Respiratory Network Launches

Partnership invests $7.6 million to promote cutting-edge research and foster collaboration between Canada's top experts in asthma and COPD

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 02/24/14 -- The Canadian Lung Association announces the launch of a new national respiratory network that will promote world-class research into chronic lung diseases, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The Canadian Respiratory Research Network will receive a total investment of $7.6 million through a partnership between The Canadian Lung Association, the British Columbia Lung Association, industry sponsors and theCanadian Institutes of Health Research.

"Having a network that brings diverse experts together means that we have a better chance of translating innovative research into optimal care for those who are actually affected by asthma and COPD, the two most common chronic lung diseases in Canada," says Debra Lynkowski, president and CEO of the Canadian Lung Association.

"Chronic lung diseases take an enormous toll on Canadians and require significant health-care resources," says Dr. Shawn Aaron, director of the Canadian Research Network and a senior Scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.

The Canadian Lung Association will invest $1.08 million towards the new Canadian Respiratory Research Network over the next five years. The British Columbia Lung Association will contribute another $200,000 over the same period.

The network will also provide significant investment into a comprehensive training program that will promote interdisciplinary research and offer support to new researchers.

"Ultimately these efforts will significantly improve prevention, management and care of chronic lung disease and will foster public health and health services innovations to improve respiratory health for Canadians," says Dean Karakasis, Chair of the CLA Board of Directors. "It will also help reduce the economic burden of lung disease."

Funding for this network is being provided through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) in partnership with the Canadian Lung Association, British Columbia Lung Association, GlaxoSmithKline Inc., AstraZeneca, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. and BoehringerIngelheim (Canada) Ltd.

Quick Facts:

--  In Canada, about 2.4 million Canadians over age 12 (8%) have been
    diagnosed by a doctor with asthma(1).
--  COPD is now the fourth leading cause of death in Canada, and mortality
    rates have been climbing in the last three decades, especially for
--  In Canada, more than 750,000 Canadians have been diagnosed with COPD by
    a doctor and it's estimated another 750,000 Canadians have COPD but are
    currently undiagnosed.(3)
--  Chronic lung diseases, primarily asthma, lung cancer and COPD, cost the
    Canadian economy $12 billion, including $3.4 billion in direct health
    care costs and $8.6 billion in indirect costs.(4)

For more information, visit:

About the Canadian Lung Association

Established in 1900, The Lung Association is one of Canada's oldest and most respected health charities, and the leading national organization for science-based information, research, education, support programs and advocacy on lung heath issues. For more information, visit or call us toll-free at 1-888-566-5864. Join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @canlung.


(1) Statistics Canada, Asthma, by age group and sex, 2012

(2) Life and Breath: Respiratory Disease in Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada's Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, (2007)

(3) Buist, A Sonia, et al. (2007) International variation in the prevalence of COPD (The BOLD Study): a population-based prevalence study. The Lancet 370; 741-750.

(4) The Conference Board of Canada, Cost Risk Analysis for Chronic Lung Disease in Canada, March 2012

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