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Waters Corporation Gives Boost to Clinical Research Programs at University of Sherbrooke Hospital

QUEBEC, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The Fondation du Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS) is proud to announce that Waters Corporation has donated a Waters(R) Synapt(TM) MS System, the latest generation of mass spectrometers. This gift -- worth a total C$1.1 million -- is the result of a partnership between Waters and CHUS which is critical to the creation of the Centre d'expertise en spectrometrie de masse clinique Waters-CHUS (Waters-CHUS Expertise Center for Clinical Mass Spectrometry) for screening, clinical diagnosis, and assessment of treatments for specific hereditary diseases, as well as for patient surveillance and management.

CHUS formally acknowledged the donation made by Waters Corporation at a ceremony officially inaugurating the laboratory.

The acquisition of this state-of-the-art technology and establishment of the center will enable the CHUS to sustain its position at the cutting edge of genetics in detecting hereditary metabolic diseases and in research into assessing metabolites for various other diseases. The device is in addition to the acquisition of the first mass spectrometer -- a Waters Quattro(TM) micro - - made possible by the Fondation du CHUS in 2005. At that time, the CHUS had the distinction of being Quebec's first university hospital to put this technology to use in a clinical setting.

The Centre d'expertise en spectrometrie de masse clinique Waters-CHUS will come under the direction of biochemist Christiane Auray-Blais, PhD, researcher with the mother-child thrust of the CHUS Centre de recherche clinique Etienne- Le Bel, and professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the Universite de Sherbrooke.

"Patients will be the first to benefit from this unique partnership, since it will make new clinical tests available to the public. This mass spectrometer will enable us to identify previously unknown biomarkers, that is, characteristics that can be objectively measured biochemically as indicators of pathogenic processes. This will enable us to better understand certain diseases, such as Fabry disease, establish correlations with the severity of the disorder, screen patients earlier, offer more effective treatment, and deliver better management," explained Dr. Auray-Blais, Scientific Director of the Centre d'expertise en spectrometrie de masse clinique Waters-CHUS.

She continued, saying that, "in addition to lysosomal storage disorders (lysosomal genetic deficiency), other diseases related to prematurity, gestational diabetes, pain, cancer, and DNA damages could be assessed with metabolic fingerprints or profiles."

"Waters Corporation is dedicated to the implementation of mass spectrometry in a clinical setting. The high quality of research being done at CHUS by Dr. Auray-Blais into metabolic disorders will eventually lead to more widespread use of mass spectrometry as a diagnostic tool, resulting in better and earlier diagnosis of these diseases and having a significant positive impact on the quality of life of the patients," added Dr. Mike Morris, Director of Technology and Business Development, Clinical Operations Group, Waters Division.

"Through the work at the Centre de recherche clinique Etienne-Le Bel, the CHUS remains at the forefront of innovative research into hereditary metabolic disorders and medical genetics. The creation of this center of expertise dedicated to mass-spectrometry research allows us to become a technology showcase for research and clinical practice in this field. Research and knowledge development are essential elements in improving the care delivered to patients. This stands out today as a superb example of a strong, profitable partnership with Waters, a company that also has at heart the wellness of the population and is fully aware of the importance of the role that it can play as a catalyst," stated Patricia Gauthier, CHUS Executive Director.

Waters, Synapt, and Quattro are trademarks of Waters Corporation.

Information and interview coordination:

Jean-Francois Nadeau, Information Officer

Centre de recherche clinique Etienne-Le Bel, CHUS

Telephone: 819-346-1110, extension 12871

Pager: 819-820-6400, 1817

For Waters Corporation

Brian J. Murphy

Public Relations


About the Waters(R) Synapt MS System

The Waters Synapt MS System is a hybrid mass spectrometer capable of high- precision determination of the molecular composition of biological samples. The device can detect proteins, metabolites and medications present in very low concentrations in biological samples such as tissue, blood, and urine. Using powerful software, it chemically compares samples, such as those from sick and healthy subjects. The information obtained can be used to diagnose a disease or to determine the efficacy of medical treatment.

About Christiane Auray-Blais, Ph.D.

Biochemist at the CHUS and Director of the Provincial Mass Urine Screening Program for Inherited Metabolic Disorders since its creation within the Service of Genetics, Dr. Christiane Auray-Blais is also a professor in the Department of Pediatrics in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the Universite de Sherbrooke. She holds a master's degree in health law and a doctorate in radiobiology, and was a postdoctoral fellow at Duke University in North Carolina. She has authored more than 90 publications, articles, and reviews. Principal investigator of a $750,000 research project with Genzyme and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), she is also co- investigator or collaborator in various research projects dealing with lysosomal storage diseases (rare genetic diseases) and other metabolic disorders.

About Waters Corporation (

Waters Corporation creates business advantages for laboratory-dependent organizations by delivering practical and sustainable innovation to enable significant advancements in such areas as healthcare delivery, environmental management, food safety, and water quality worldwide. Pioneering a connected portfolio of separations science, laboratory information management, mass spectrometry and thermal analysis, Waters technology breakthroughs and laboratory solutions provide an enduring platform for customer success. With revenue of $1.47 billion in 2007 and 5,000 employees, Waters is driving scientific discovery and operational excellence for customers worldwide.

About the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke

The fourth largest hospital center in Quebec, the CHUS plays a triple role: local hospital for Sherbrooke, Haut-Saint-Francois, Val-Saint-Francois, and Coaticook; regional hospital for secondary and tertiary care for Estrie's population; and supraregional hospital for tertiary care for the residents of Centre-du-Quebec and part of Monteregie, particularly in cardiology, neurosurgery, surgical and medical oncology, and neonatology.

The CHUS stands out for its many cutting-edge specialties and has the latest high-tech equipment for neurosurgery and oncology (gamma scalpel), interventional angiography, and medical imagery (TEP-scan) as well as other devices dedicated to screening for hereditary diseases (mass spectrometers), surgical and medical treatments for male and female incontinence, and pain treatment.

About the Centre de recherche clinique Etienne-Le Bel at the CHUS

The Centre de recherche clinique Etienne-Le Bel of the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS) is at the forefront of current health issues. The center stands out for its integrated approach, bringing together fundamental, clinical, epidemiological, and evaluative research. More than 167 basic-science researchers and clinicians have been pooling their knowledge and expertise for more than 28 years targeting the shared objective of developing new knowledge to maintain health and prevent disease.

SOURCE Sherbrooke Hospital
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