Playing a role in personalized medicine on the world stage - The Montreal Heart Institute becomes Roche global research hub in cardiometabolic disease

MONTREAL, April 16, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - In the presence of Mr. Sam Hamad, Quebec Minister of Economic Development, Innovation & Export Trade and Minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale region, the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) was designated today as the hub for translational medicine studying cardiometabolic disease in the global network of the multinational pharmaceutical company Roche. The designation was made by Ronnie Miller, President and CEO of Roche Canada and Dr. David Kallend, Roche Global Clinical Leader and Pharma Development Group Medical Director, during a conference luncheon jointly hosted by MHI and Hoffmann-La Roche in collaboration with Montréal InVivo.

Bringing together world-class scientific expertise from the Montreal Heart Institute with Roche's significant capability in translational medicine and clinical development, this alliance will focus on enhancing the understanding of how basic scientific research translates into personalized and improved healthcare solutions for patients.

This announcement confirms MHI's position as a global leader in cardiovascular health and diseases. With the creation of its new Research Center largely focused on translational medicine, its biomarker discovery and development platforms, its Montreal Health Innovations Coordinating Center (MHICC) with its strong worldwide network of collaborators for clinical trials, the Beaulieu-Saucier Pharmacogenomics Center, its Center of Excellence in Personalized Medicine (CEPMed) and its leadership within the Canadian Atherosclerosis Imaging Network (CAIN) and the Medical Imaging Trials NEtwork of Canada (MITNEC), the Montreal Heart Institute clearly set its sights on making the future a reality by integrating personalized medicine in the core of its activities. Under the leadership of Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif, Director of the MHI Research Center and Canada Research Chair in personalized and translational medicine, these research and technology platforms situated in a clinical environment are ideally suited to facilitate the rapid translation of research innovations into clinically validated applications.

This pioneering alliance became a reality thanks to an outstanding commitment of the government. "Over the years, research activities at the MHI have benefited from an ongoing support of various government institutions, notably significant contributions from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and the Government of Quebec," pointed out Dr. Denis Roy, CEO of the MHI. "The leading-edge research infrastructure thus developed was a determining factor to entrust the MHI with a key role in Roche's strategic research plan."

"This alliance will provide a unique opportunity to drive translational and personalized medicine from molecular discovery up to testing new drugs in the area of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases," said Dr. Tardif. "Personalized medicine will radically change the way scientists and clinicians develop and use medications."

"MHI is renowned for scientific excellence and we share a commitment for the development of personalized medicine," said Dr. David Kallend, Roche Global Clinical Leader and Pharma Development Group Medical Director. "MHI's focused research into new biomarkers to predict cardiovascular diseases and stratification of high-risk patients make MHI the ideal partner for Roche in cardiovascular research.  We are very honoured to count the Montreal Heart Institute as one of our hubs for translational medicine in the Roche global network and the only one focusing purely on cardiovascular disease."

About the Montreal Heart Institute: www.icm-mhi.org

For further information:

Anne-Julie Ouellet
Director, Communications and Partnerships
Montreal Heart Institute
514 376-3330, ext. 2700
anne-julie.ouellet@icm-mhi.org