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Pro Hockey Player Fernando Pisani Looks to Shoot and Score Against Ulcerative Colitis

As Part of "In the Zone for UC" Campaign, Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc. Will Donate $5,000 to the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America for Each Point Pisani Scores During 2008-2009 Season

HORSHAM, Pa., March 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc. announced today a partnership with professional hockey player Fernando Pisani to raise awareness of ulcerative colitis (UC) and funding to support continued education and research for the disease.

As part of the program, entitled In the Zone for UC, Centocor Ortho Biotech will make a donation of $5,000 to the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) for each point Pisani scores during the 2008-2009 hockey season, with a minimum contribution of $100,000.

Sidelined from his career due to the painful symptoms of UC in 2007, Pisani returned to the ice following an effective treatment plan that helped control his symptoms. Now, Pisani is committed to furthering his career, while raising awareness of UC. More information about the program can be found at, where visitors can also track Pisani's scoring progress throughout the season. UC, and Crohn's disease, another disorder of the digestive tract, are inflammatory bowel diseases that affect more than one million Americans combined.

"When I was diagnosed with UC, I faced the harsh reality that I might not be able to continue my career as a professional hockey player," said Fernando Pisani. "But with the support of my doctor and my family, and with treatment, I fought my way back to the ice. I'm excited to participate in the In the Zone for UC program to help raise awareness of UC, which can have truly devastating effects for people like me living with and trying to manage the disease."

Centocor Ortho Biotech launched a similar program, In the Zone for Crohn's (, during the 2008 football season in partnership with professional quarterback, David Garrard. Garrard's efforts on the field resulted in a donation of $170,000 to the CCFA. The funds raised from In the Zone for Crohn's will help support continued Crohn's disease research and disease awareness programs.

"We look forward to continuing our partnership with Centocor Ortho Biotech and collaborating with Fernando Pisani on the In the Zone for UC program," said Richard Geswell, President of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America. "We are confident that Fernando's success on the ice and in his everyday life will help inspire people living with inflammatory bowel diseases to join the fight in raising awareness and funds for these debilitating and often misunderstood diseases."

About Fernando Pisani

Fernando Pisani first began experiencing the painful symptoms of UC prior to the start of the 2007-08 season. Pisani experienced significant weight loss, fatigue and found it extremely difficult to keep up with the demands of playing professional hockey. The disease eventually caused Fernando to be sidelined for the first 26 games of the season and his return to his team was questionable. Pisani worked closely with his doctor to develop an effective treatment plan that controlled his symptoms and allowed him to return to the ice. In December 2007, Fernando returned to the ice and played the remainder of the season scoring 13 goals and adding nine assists.

About Ulcerative Colitis (UC)

UC, a chronic inflammatory bowel disease affecting nearly 500,000 people in the U.S., is marked by the inflammation and ulceration of the colonic mucosa, or innermost lining, which may lead to bloody stools, severe diarrhea and frequent abdominal pain. Tiny open sores, or ulcers, form on the surface of the lining where they bleed and produce pus and mucus. Symptoms of the disease may lead to loss of appetite, subsequent weight loss, and fatigue. UC is a chronic disease, and there is no cure. Although progress has been made in IBD research, investigators do not know what causes this disease.

About Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease, a chronic inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract, affects approximately 500,000 Americans, including approximately 100,000 patients under the age of 18. The cause of Crohn's disease is not known, but the disease is associated with an abnormality of the immune system that could be triggered by viral or bacterial infections or a genetic predisposition. Symptoms of Crohn's disease can vary but often include abdominal pain and tenderness, persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, weight loss and fever. There is currently no cure for Crohn's disease.

About The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America

The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America's mission is to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases. The Foundation ranks third among leading health non-profits in the percentage of expense devoted to research toward a cure, with more than 81 cents of every dollar the Foundation spends goes to mission-critical programs. The Foundation consistently meets the standards of organizations that monitor charities, including the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance ( and the American Institute of Philanthropy ( For more information, contact the Foundation at 800-932-2423 or visit

About Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc.

Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc. redefines the standard of care in immunology, nephrology, and oncology. The company was formed when Centocor, Inc. and Ortho Biotech Inc. were consolidated in late 2008, and was renamed Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc. Built upon a pioneering history, Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc. harnesses innovations in large-molecule and small-molecule research to create important new therapeutic options. Beyond its innovative medicines, Centocor Ortho Biotech is at the forefront of developing education and public policy initiatives to ensure patients and their families, caregivers, advocates, and healthcare professionals have access to the latest treatment information, support services, and quality care.

SOURCE Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc.
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