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UCB Announces 2009 Rheumatoid Arthritis Scholarship Program

Monday, December 22, 2008 General News J E 4
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UCB Offers 30, One-Time Scholarships of up to $10,000 each to Individuals Reaching Beyond the Boundaries of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fulfilling Educational Ambitions



ATLANTA, Dec. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Applications are now being accepted for the 2009 UCB Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Scholarship Program. The program, now in its second year, will award 30, one-time scholarships of up to $10,000 each to patients diagnosed with RA or their immediate family members who are seeking an associate's, undergraduate, or graduate degree or enrolled in a trade school educational program. RA is a progressive autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, often making even the simplest everyday tasks very difficult to undertake.



"The UCB Rheumatoid Arthritis Scholarship Program offers this award to students who demonstrate extraordinary strength and perseverance to fulfill their academic ambitions despite challenges posed by rheumatoid arthritis," said Michael Weinblatt, M.D., chairman of the scholarship selection board.



Applicants are selected by a group of nationally known rheumatologists, health care professionals and advocates. Applicants are judged on their academic ambition and their demonstrated ability to overcome the limitations associated with rheumatoid arthritis.



"The UCB RA scholarship reflects our company's commitment to provide patients and their families with resources to help them reach beyond the boundaries of their disease," said David Robinson, a vice president and general manager at UCB. "It is our goal that this scholarship program will enable the winners to further their education and enjoy the benefits that this accomplishment will offer."



More information about the program is available at www.reachbeyondra.com/scholarship or by calling 888.854.4996.



About the 2009 UCB Family RA Scholarship

This program is designed for students of any age who have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or the immediate family member of a person with rheumatoid arthritis. Applicants must be legal and permanent residents of the United States and must be diagnosed by a physician. Only those who are seeking an associate's, undergraduate, or graduate degree, or enrolled in a trade school educational program; or enrolled in/awaiting acceptance from a United States-based institution of higher education for the fall semester of 2009 may apply. Applicants must also be individuals who demonstrate academic ambition and embrace a way of life that overcomes the boundaries of living with RA. Employees of UCB and their immediate family members are not eligible for this scholarship.

Applications are available to download on www.reachbeyondra.com. Applicants must submit a hard copy of the application, along with all additional listed components, for eligibility. All applications must be postmarked by March 20, 2009; applications postmarked after this date will not be considered.

Selection of recipients will be at the sole discretion of a panel of judges comprised of medical professionals chosen by UCB. Winners will be notified by June 22, 2009 with both a personal telephone call from UCB and a confirmation letter.



About Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a progressive autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints. It is estimated that five million people suffer from RA globally, with 0.3 percent to 1 percent of the population in industrialized countries suffering from RA. It is estimated that, approximately 1.3 million people in the United States have RA. Women are three times more likely to be affected than men. Although it can affect people of all ages, the onset of RA usually occurs between the ages of 35-55.



Symptoms of RA include joint stiffness, joint pain, inflammation of the affected areas and an associated reduction in mobility. These symptoms can be intermittent and vary in severity from patient to patient. In more severe cases RA can eventually lead to disability. RA patients are also at a higher risk of developing other conditions, in particular heart disease, stroke, infections, lung problems and osteoporosis.



As there is currently no cure for RA, treatment goals center on disease management and controlling symptoms. Treatment is aimed at controlling disease progression, providing pain relief and reducing swelling, preventing joint damage and deformity and maintaining function of the affected joints to prevent disability.



About UCB

UCB is a global leader in the biopharmaceutical industry dedicated to the research, development and commercialization of innovative medicines with a focus on the fields of central nervous system and immunology disorders. Employing approximately 12,000 people in more than 40 countries, UCB achieved revenue of 3.6 billion euro in 2007. UCB is listed on NYSE Euronext (symbol: UCB). Worldwide headquarters is located in Brussels, Belgium; U.S. headquarters is located in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information about UCB, visit www.ucb-group.com.



SOURCE UCB
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