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UBS launches the UBS SARS Research Foundation

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UBS, in cooperation with the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong ("HKU"), today launched the UBS SARS Research Foundation Limited, a charity wholly-administered by UBS with the primary objective of providing funding for research conducted by the University of Hong Kong into SARS and other infectious diseases.

UBS is donating HK$1 million as seed capital to launch the Foundation. In addition, it will match employee donations up to an additional HK$500,000. The donation will fund SARS-related research spearheaded by the Medical Faculty and will be used to develop high throughput diagnostic tests, anti-viral treatments and eventually, it is hoped, a vaccine for SARS.

"While the immediate threat of SARS has receded, as a community we must galvanise ourselves to continue the efforts necessary to ultimately defeat SARS. The primary research being undertaken by HKU is in the vanguard of these efforts and accordingly worthy of our fullest support. We believe the Foundation is the most effective way for us, as an organisation, to support their efforts. As well as providing funds from UBS and our staff we also hope to attract support from our clients." said Kathryn SHIH, Chief Executive of UBS Hong Kong Branch.

"Our research team has made a number of important breakthroughs on SARS. Good quality research on SARS not only enables us to fight against the virus but also helps to restore confidence in the community.UBS's contribution will be a source of strong support to researchers at HKU and to society in general," said Professor Lap-Chee TSUI, Vice-Chancellor of the HKU.

"The Medical Faculty has been playing an active role in SARS research and has in excess of 60 SARS projects in progress. Our target is to diagnose the disease more quickly in the short term, to develop a cure for SARS over the medium term and to try and develop a preventive vaccine to eliminate further SARS cases over the long term," said Professor Shiu-Kum LAM, Dean of Faculty of Medicine.

Hong Kong, 11 June 2003