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27 Feb 2008
Growing Support for World Kidney Day

Brussels, 27 February 2008 World Kidney Day (WKD), now in its third consecutive year, is making great strides at mobilising the global healthcare community to raise awareness of Chronic Kidney Disease. This year WKD will be celebrated on the 13th of March in more than 60 countries on six continents around the world. The message is simple “kidney disease is common, harmful and treatable”. Early detection and prevention means that kidney disease can be better managed and even curtailed. Unfortunately many people do not understand that one of the main jobs of their kidneys is to remove toxins and excess water from our blood. We have therefore chosen “Amazing Kidneys!” as the WKD 2008 theme with the aim of educating the public about their kidneys. WKD is jointly organised by volunteer driven organisations: the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF). Steering Committee Co-chairs Dr. Sudhir Shah (IFKF immediate past President) and Dr. William Couser (ISN immediate past President), share their vision for WKD as “an annual energizing and unifying event, through which health care providers, the general public and government bodies all unite to improve early detection programs and awareness of CKD as a global health issue”. World Kidney Day 2008 would not be possible without the steadfast and generous support of main WKD corporate partners Amgen, Roche and Shire, and supporting partners Genzyme, Wyeth, Hemocue and Eli Lilly. Each of these companies plays a vital role in helping the global community battle against this common disease. The WKD corporate partners are united in their vision of success for WKD in 2008 and beyond. “As a pioneer of chronic kidney disease therapies for more than 15 years, Amgen is committed to raising awareness, supporting early screening programs and innovative therapies that help kidney patients," said Will Dere, MD, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Amgen International. “The essential roles of the kidneys are not well understood and yet they have a profound impact on our health and well-being,” said Luke Miels, Business Director, Roche, adding “so we are pleased this year to sponsor two internet-based tools on the WKD website to increase awareness in a fun way.” "When kidneys fail, the impact can be devastating for patients, presenting them with numerous and complex challenges," said Shirley Wakelin, Shire Renal Business Unit. "With the burden of CKD growing, Shire fully endorses the key educational role of WKD in raising awareness about how to preserve and protect renal health and we are delighted to extend Shire's established partnership with WKD in 2008." WKD will be celebrated by individuals, healthcare professionals, the media and governments on 13th of March. Everyone can get involved. Please visit the World Kidney Day website: for a listing of events near you. The media corner also provides more background material. For all media-related enquiries please contact: Angela Guillemet WKD Marketing and Communications Director mobile: +353 863 11 40 67 email: mailto:info@worldkidneyday.orgAbout our 2008 main corporate partners: Amgen, a biotechnology pioneer, discovers, develops and delivers innovative human therapeutics. Our medicines have helped millions of patients in the fight against cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis and other serious illnesses. With a deep and broad pipeline of potential new medicines, we continue to advance science to serve patients. More information on Roche is one of the world’s leading research-focused healthcare groups in the fields of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. As the world’s biggest biotech company and an innovator of products and services for the early detection, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, the Group contributes on a broad range of fronts to improving people’s health and quality of life. Please go to Shire's strategic goal is to become the leading specialty biopharmaceutical company focusing on meeting the needs of the specialist physician. Its business is focused on attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), human genetic therapies (HGT), gastrointestinal (GI) and renal diseases. For further information, please visit

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