A History of HPP in Canada
The first report of Hypophosphatasia (HPP) in the English-language medical literature has been attributed to Dr. Bruce
Chown of the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg. In 1936, Chown described two sisters of Welsh descent with what
he called renal rickets (Chown 1936; Fraser 1957).
A Canadian physician, John Campbell Rathbun, first named the disorder Hypophosphatasia in 1948, after he treated
a baby boy with paradoxically low levels of alkaline phosphatase. The boy was first treated on December 19, 1946.
For a long time it was known as Rathbun’s Syndrome.
In 1995, Margery Callen of Toronto, Canada, diagnosed in 1992 after 5 years of fractures and surgeries, connects to
the internet seeking support. She discovers and makes first contact between patients Del Sieber and Carol Clapshaw
in the US and they start communicating.
In 1998, Margery and Debbie Taillefer connect. In 1999, they begin to discuss the need to provide support to
Canadians and their families. They form the first Canadian organization called the Canadian Hypophosphatasia
Contact. They develop the first Canadian website and brochure with a brief synopsis of HPP and support contacts.
Dec. 23, 1999, Debbie creates the first international support group via Yahoo Groups called Worldwide
Hypophosphatasia Support Mailing List.
2006 Prof. Philippe Crine, of Enobia in Montreal, PQ, developed the first therapy called Asfotase Alfa – a bone
targeted enzyme replacement therapy for Hypophosphatasia.
2008 Dr. Cheryl Rockman-Greenberg, MD, CM, FRCPC, FCCMG Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Child
Health and Programme in Genetics and Metabolism College of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences started the first
clinical trials. Enobia flew a little girl from Belfast, Northern Ireland, to Winnipeg for treatment.