'Improvement through Movement' educational programme launched for people with osteoporosis

Pan-European osteoporosis patients encouraged to dance their way to stronger bones

Munich, October 20th 2009 - An educational programme available on DVD is launched today, on World Osteoporosis Day, bringing together the glamorous world of ballroom dance with the serious nature of disease management. Sponsored by DAIICHI SANKYO EUROPE and endorsed by the International Osteoporosis Foundation, 'Improvement through Movement' is a new educational programme which aims to encourage people with osteoporosis to use ballroom dance exercises to help strengthen their bones and slow the progression of the disease.

Osteoporosis affects approximately 200 million women throughout the world. Many people with osteoporosis are reluctant to do any form of physical activity for fear of further damaging their bones, however improving muscle strength through any kind of physical activity helps to strengthen bones - which is why this educational programme has been developed.

Professor Juliet Compston, Professor of Bone Medicine at the University of Cambridge School of Medicine, Cambridge, UK, who helped to oversee the routine comments: "Research has shown that, although you can't cure osteoporosis, you can help to prevent its progression. Exercise is one of the most important things that people with osteoporosis can do to help themselves, and dancing is a fun, beneficial form of exercise. Dance exercises the entire body giving joints, muscles and, most importantly, bones a thorough workout".

Reinhard Bauer, CEO DAIICHI SANKYO EUROPE, comments: "This educational programme is an important step to help improve patients' quality of life. It is just one way we can raise awareness of the disease and encourage osteoporosis sufferers to keep active for longer".

Following the Strictly Come Dancing television phenomenon, which has been syndicated around the world, UK Strictly professional dancer Erin Boag worked with Professor Compston to develop a dance programme that would be easy to follow, based on the styles of the Waltz, Quickstep and Rumba. "Dance movements are multi-directional and help with joint mobility and flexibility. These dances are beautiful and graceful with movements that should flow through the entire body. None of the dance moves are too energetic, so the steps should be easy for patients to learn," says Boag. "Dancing is something that I am passionate about. By simply using this educational programme, patients will be able to take the first step towards more effective management of their condition".

Internationally renowned choreographer Arlene Phillips has endorsed this project, and thanked Erin Boag for taking the time to put her expertise into something so meaningful. "Erin has shown that dance can be accessible to all, regardless of age and ability. She has put her professionalism into a fantastic tool. Osteoporosis is such a debilitating condition, but it is great that patients can help themselves and slow the progression of the disease, whilst at the same time having fun. With such a high prevalence, I hope physicians will find this educational programme incredibly useful when advising their patients on how to manage this condition, and patients themselves will enjoy learning the routines and benefit from the dance moves as they continue to practice".

The educational programme will be available to patients on DVD through their physician practices. The DVD will be subtitled into several languages. Physicians can only give this educational programme to patients. For more information of how practices can order this DVD please go to www.osteoporosis-disease.eu.

Patients are advised to consult their physician or healthcare practitioner before undertaking any form of physical exercise.

About osteoporosis

Osteoporosis, meaning 'porous bones' is a progressive disease which increases the risk of fracture, particularly in the spine, hips and wrists, due to a reduction in bone strength. Osteoporosis can cause pain, loss of movement, inability to perform daily tasks, and in many cases, death. It is estimated that 20% of women who suffer a hip fracture die within a year. Osteoporosis affects one in three women and one in five men over 50,2 and most commonly occurs in women after menopause (postmenopausal osteoporosis) due to a significant decline in oestrogen levels. The declining level of oestrogen results in an increase in bone breakdown (resorption), which can lead to a loss of bone density and hence stability.

About World Osteoporosis Day

World Osteoporosis Day, which takes place on October 20th this year, provides an all-important focal point for informing and educating the general public and policy makers about the prevention of a disease which still suffers from poor general awareness. With the number of participating countries and scheduled events increasing steadily year by year, the impact of World Osteoporosis Day has grown significantly. World Osteoporosis Day 2009 will be the second year of a 'call to action' campaign.


DAIICHI SANKYO is a global pharmaceutical company that focuses on researching and marketing innovative medications. The company was created in 2005 through the merger of two traditional Japanese enterprises, Daiichi and Sankyo. With net sales of nearly 5.9 billion € in fiscal year 2008, DAIICHI SANKYO is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. The company's world headquarters is in Tokyo, and its European base is located in Munich. DAIICHI SANKYO has affiliates in 12 European countries and has been one of the strongest Japanese pharmaceutical companies located in Europe since it set up European production facilities and marketing offices in 1990. The company's research activities focus on the areas of cardiovascular diseases, haematology, diabetes, anti-infectives and cancer. Its aim is to develop medications that are best in their class or to create new classes of pharmaceutical drugs.

For more information, please click on: www.osteoporosis-disease.eu.


Dr. Iris Marr , International Brand Management

Phone +49(0)89/78 08-807 , iris.marr@daiichi-sankyo.eu

Dr. Michaela Paudler-Debus , Corporate Communications and Public Affairs

Phone +49(0)89/78 08- 685 , michaela.paudler-debus@daiichi-sankyo.eu

Forward-looking statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements and information about future developments in the sector, and the legal and business conditions of DAIICHI SANKYO EUROPE GmbH. Such forward-looking statements are uncertain and are subject at all times to the risks of change, particularly to the usual risks faced by a global pharmaceutical company, including the impact of the prices for products and raw materials, medication safety, changes in exchange rates, government regulations, employee relations, taxes, political instability and terrorism as well as the results of independent demands and governmental inquiries that affect the affairs of the company. All forward-looking statements contained in this release hold true as of the date of publication. They do not represent any guarantee of future performance. Actual events and developments could differ materially from the forward-looking statements that are explicitly expressed or implied in these statements. DAIICHI SANKYO EUROPE GmbH assumes no responsibility for the updating of such forward-looking statements about future developments of the sector, legal and business conditions and the company.


Peters KM. Knochenkrankheiten. Darmstadt: Steinkopff. 2002; page 45.

International Osteoporosis Foundation. Facts and statistics about osteoporosis and its impact. Available at: http://www.iofbonehealth.org/facts-and-statistics.html. Last accessed 09.10.09

BUPA. Osteoporosis. http://hcd2.bupa.co.uk/

Condren L. As oestrogen declines. World of Irish Nursing. 2002: 10(3); 31-32