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Penn: Rosann Thompson
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April 3, 2003

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International Receives $1 Million to Support Critical Islet Transplantation Research

Oxford Foundation Commits Gift to Islet Isolation Facility

. Philadelphia - April 3, 2003 - The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (JDRF) today received a major gift of $1 million from the Oxford Foundation to support critical research at the JDRF - Oxford Foundation Islet Isolation Facility at the University of Pennsylvania.

The donation by the Oxford Foundation and the Ware Family will enhance the research at the JDRF - W.W. Smith Charitable Trust Center of Islet Transplantation by using state-of-the art techniques in isolating and preparing pancreatic islets for transplant.

"We at JDRF are extremely honored by the Oxford Foundation's decision to partner with us in support of our mission to find a cure for juvenile diabetes. We are excited about the advances in islet transplantation here and at 11 other JDRF funded research centers across North America and we are constantly seeking new ways to fund this critical research ," stated Peter Van Etten, President and CEO of JDRF.

Islet isolation is a delicate and complex process. The islet isolation laboratory headed by transplant surgeon, James F. Markmann, MD, PhD, will standardize the process of obtaining and preparing islets by developing criteria to determine their quality and viability when transplanted. The work of the laboratory will maximize the availability of high quality islets and is essential to the success of islet transplantation conducted by Ali Naji, MD, PhD, and Director of the JDRF-W.W. Smith Charitable Trust Center for Islet Transplantation.

"We are impressed by the commitment of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in advancing diabetes research and are encouraged by the progress made in islet transplantation here at the University of Pennsylvania and other institutions. The Oxford Foundation and the Ware family are pleased to support this Islet Isolation Facility with the hope that initiatives made here will move us a step closer to a cure for juvenile diabetes," said Paul W. Ware, President, of the Oxford Foundation.

Recent advances in islet transplantation have created a surge in the research efforts to restore normal blood sugar levels in people with juvenile diabetes. To date, over 150 patients have received islet transplants; some have been successful with very near normal blood glucose profiles. However, two challenges remain: the shortage of islet supply and the need for tolerance induction - getting the immune system to accept transplants without the use of toxic antirejection drugs.

"The commitment demonstrated by the Oxford Foundation to the JDRF - Oxford Foundation Islet Isolation Facility at the University of Pennsylvania is truly visionary, " states Dr. Arthur Rubenstein, Executive Vice President of the University of Pennsylvania for the Health System and Dean of the School of Medicine. " We at Penn are elated by the opportunity to partner with the Foundation and the JDRF in taking this important step in our continuing quest to find a cure for juvenile diabetes."

The Oxford Foundation is a private foundation of the Ware family, which promotes excellence in health, human services, education, early childhood development, preservation, arts and culture, and public policy planning.

JDRF, the leading charitable funder and advocate of juvenile (type 1) diabetes research worldwide, was founded in 1970 by the parents of children with juvenile diabetes - a disease which strikes children suddenly, makes them insulin-dependent for life, and carries the constant threat of devastating complications. Since inception, JDRF has provided more than $600 million in direct funding to diabetes research. In a typical year, 85 percent of JDRF's expenditures directly support research and research-related education. JDRF's mission is constant: to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. For more information, visit the JDRF web site at www.jdrf.org or call 800-533-CURE.

PENN Medicine is a $2.2 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and quality patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System (created in 1993 as the nation's first integrated academic health system). Today, Penn's School of Medicine is ranked #4 in the nation in U.S. News & World Report's most recent ranking of top research-oriented medical schools; and ranked #2 in the nation for receipt of NIH research funds. It supports 1400-fulltime faculty and 700 students, is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician/scientists and leaders of academic medicine. Penn's Health System consists of four wholly-owned hospitals (including its flagship Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, rated one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report); a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; three multispecialty satellite facilities; and home healthcare, hospice and long-term care.

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