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Immunology Emerges as Dominant Force in Revolutionizing the Fight Against Immune-Mediated Inflammatory Disorders

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www.ProHealth.com • May 7, 2003


I.M.I.D. Key Topic at American Association of Immunologists Meeting in Denver, May 6-10

DENVER, May 7 /PRNewswire/ -- A growing consensus among doctors and
scientists that seemingly unrelated diseases actually share common pathways will be a key topic for the nearly 3,500 scientists and medical researchers meeting in Denver this week for the American Association of Immunologists meeting. This extraordinary new scientific paradigm, known as Immune-Mediated Inflammatory Disorders (I.M.I.D.), has sparked the creation of dozens of targeted research centers across the country and will dramatically change the way many diseases and disorders are studied.

"Chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, Crohn's disease, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes and many others continue to devastate individuals and families. The research the centers are conducting on I.M.I.D. is going to play an important role in how we think about and treat these diseases," said Brian Kotzin, M.D., Co- Head, Division of Clinical Immunology at the University of Colorado Health Science Center in Denver. "It is clear that common mechanisms of inflammation and
similarities in the abnormal immune responses will greatly advance the fight against these diseases."

Nearly 3,500 medical professionals will convene at the 90th AnniversarymMeeting of the American Association of Immunologists in Denver, Colorado this week. The meeting will include an I.M.I.D. symposium entitled "Cytokine-based Immunotherapy: Turning On and Off Inflammation and Disease," from 12:30-2:30 p.m. MT, May 7, 2003, at the Colorado Convention Center.

"This symposium is a great opportunity to learn from what has been
accomplished so far in identifying common molecular pathways of seemingly unrelated diseases, such as psoriasis, Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis," said Don Griswold, Senior Director of Immunobiology Research at Centocor. "It is an opportunity to garner the interest and the participation of leading researchers as we work to expand I.M.I.D. research."

The I.M.I.D. initiative is inspired by advances in the medical community's increasing knowledge of immunology and the pivotal role of inflammation in disease and the immune system. Approximately 50 million Americans suffer from a disease related to the immune system. Currently, key academic institutions around the globe are beginning to work together to advance research and treatment of I.M.I.D. Centocor, a leader in I.M.I.D. research, supports the
work of both the American Association of Immunologists and the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies in this area.

Overview of I.M.I.D.

The Immune-Mediated Inflammatory Disorders (I.M.I.D.) is a group of
diseases characterized by immune dysregulation, chronic inflammation, and tissue damage. Many disorders fall under the I.M.I.D. umbrella, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Crohn's disease, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes, among others. In total, they affect millions of people worldwide, causing significant morbidity, premature disability, and have significant economic consequences for patients, their families and society.

Although much progress has been made scientifically and clinically in
understanding these disorders, their pathogenesis remains to be fully
elucidated. Current thinking suggests that although each I.M.I.D. may be manifested differently, they share some common molecular pathways caused by the body producing inappropriate or excessive amounts of chemical messengers called cytokines. Nevertheless, more basic and clinical research are needed to more completely define how, when, and where cytokines contribute to disease processes. This research is ongoing thanks in part to Centocor's support.

About Centocor

Centocor is a leading biopharmaceutical company that creates, acquires and markets cost-effective therapies that yield long-term benefits for patients and the healthcare community. The company is dedicated to the research and development of treatments for a wide range of Immune-Mediated Inflammatory Disorders (I.M.I.D.), such as arthritis, inflammatory skin diseases and cancer. Centocor's products, developed primarily through monoclonal antibody technology, help physicians deliver innovative treatments to improve human health and restore patients' quality of life. Centocor is a wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, the worldwide manufacturer of healthcare products.



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