Ottawa, May 10, 2000 -John Manley, Minister of Industry and Minister
responsible for the Canadian Space Agency, today welcomed U.S. Senator and
NASA Astronaut John Glenn to Ottawa. The promising results of OSTEO, the
Canadian osteoporosis research performed during Senator Glenn’s high-profile
return to space in 1998, were detailed in an evening public presentation by
the Senator and researchers. Earlier in the day, Senator Glenn and Minister
Manley took part in an informal meeting with Prime Minister Jean Chrétien,
followed by a presentation to the Standing Committee on Industry.

“The Canadian research performed by Senator Glenn offers the potential of
direct health benefits here on Earth,” said Minister Manley. “The OSTEO
experiment was such a success that the Canadian Space Agency is now
developing follow-up experiments to be conducted on a future space shuttle

Senator Glenn conducted the Canadian Space Agency’s OSTEO experiment on
board the Space Shuttle Discovery in October 1998 during a mission aimed at
the study of aging. The OSTEO experiment studied the underlying processes of
bone loss and evaluated treatments. The research, supervised by John Glenn,
was ideally suited for the space environment, as bone loss in space is four
to ten times faster than during osteoporosis on Earth. The experiment
demonstrated how bone mineralization decreases during space flight and also
showed that a specific therapeutic agent, called recombinant human
parathyroid hormone (PTH), is able to reverse this loss.

“It is gratifying to see that the Canadian osteoporosis experiment has
produced insight into the mechanisms of a serious and often debilitating
age-related disease,” said Senator Glenn. “This research will also help
future astronauts cope with bone changes during space travel, and shed light
on a disease that affects over a million Canadians and tens of millions of

The Canadian experiment was led and funded by the Canadian Space Agency in a
joint venture with Allelix Biopharmaceuticals (now NPS Allelix Corp.) and in
partnership with Millenium Biologix Inc., Mount Sinai Hospital, the
University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto. It produced
valuable results that will advance research on osteoporosis and contribute
to the development of potential treatments.

Senator Glenn’s visit to Ottawa included meetings with the Canadian
scientists who participated in the experiment. The OSTEO experiment was
presented by Senator Glenn and these researchers at a public lecture on May
10 at the National Gallery of Canada.


For more information:

Caroline Lavallée

Senior Communications Officer

Canadian Space Agency

Tel.: (450) 926-4370


About the Canadian Space Agency

Established in 1989 and located in Saint-Hubert, Quebec, the Canadian Space
Agency co-ordinates all elements of the Canadian Space Program and manages
five major sectors, which are: Earth and Environment, Satellite
Communications, Space Science, Generic Space Technologies and Human Presence
in Space. The Canadian Space Agency is committed to leading the development
and application of space-related knowledge for the benefit of Canadians and