Company partners with Genome Canada, Génome Québec, and multiple
hospital research centres across the country
MONTREAL, Dec. 9, 2013 /CNW/ - Genome Canada and Génome Québec are
pleased to announce UCB Canada Inc.'s contribution to a four-year study
aimed at developing a personalized medicine approach to the early
diagnosis of various types of epilepsy. The $10.8 million project,
"Personalized medicine in the treatment of epilepsy", forms the
Canadian Epilepsy Network (CENet) and is led by Dr. Patrick Cossette at
the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre* (CRCHUM), as well
as co-leaders, Dr. Jacques Michaud, Sainte-Justine University Hospital
Research Center in Montreal, and Dr. Berge Minassian, The Hospital for
Sick Children in Toronto.
Funded primarily by Genome Canada and Génome Québec, the research seeks
to identify genetic changes that not only predispose people to epilepsy
but also, and more specifically, the changes that predict the response
to various anti-epileptic drugs. Through a $200,000 grant, UCB's
partnership will help researchers determine the genetic sequence of all
genes in individuals living with epilepsy who have different ranges of
response to anti-epileptic drugs.
"On behalf of CENet, I would like to thank UCB Canada for their generous
contribution to this important project," said Dr. Cossette. "UCB's
funding will help CENet reach our ultimate goal: to foster the
development of rational and tailored guidelines for personalized
treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy."
Although there are over 20 different anti-epileptic drugs available
today, these drugs are ineffective in about one third of patients.
Epilepsy is particularly problematic in children since uncontrolled
seizures in the developing brain largely contribute to cognitive
decline. Managing epilepsy associated with intellectual disability is
especially challenging since these symptoms are associated with a high
rate of resistance to anti-epileptic drugs.1
"UCB recognizes the important research that Dr. Cossette's team is
undertaking to help diagnose and treat drug-resistant epilepsy," said
Hervé Lilliu, General Manager, UCB Canada Inc. "We are hopeful that our
contribution to this project will help the team reach their goal. The
development of personalized diagnostics and treatment will constitute a
major advance in preventing brain damage and cognitive impairment in
individuals living with epilepsy."
"The discoveries made over the course of this project will help develop
new diagnostic assays and clinical guidelines to help neurologists and
general practitioners determine which of their patients would benefit
most from alternative therapies, such as surgery or a ketogenic diet,"
said Marc LePage, President and CEO of Génome Québec.
"Genome Canada thanks UCB Canada Inc. for their important contribution
to this Canadian multi-centre project. In addition to easing the
considerable human cost of drug-resistant epilepsy, the development of
these diagnostic and treatment guidelines could represent a healthcare
savings of nearly $12 million annually in Canada," said Pierre Meulien,
President and CEO of Genome Canada.
A disorder of the central nervous system, specifically the brain,
epilepsy is the tendency to have recurrent seizures. One in every 100
Canadians has active epilepsy, and the chance of acquiring it at some
time during life is between two and four per cent. While most often beginning either in childhood or late in life, anyone
can develop epilepsy at any time.2 Each seizure increases the risk of brain damage, especially in
About Genome Canada
Genome Canada is a not-for-profit organization that invests in genomics
research to generate economic and social benefits for Canadians. Genome
Canada builds bridges between government, academia and industry to
forge a genomics-based, innovation-driven enterprise focused on key
life science sectors. We develop these partnerships to invest in and
manage large-scale research and translate discoveries into commercial
opportunities, new technologies, applications and solutions. For more
information, visit www.genomecanada.ca
About Génome Québec
Since May 2000, Génome Québec has been the driving force behind the
development of genomics in Québec. By supporting nearly 80 projects and
800 researchers and managing the operations of the McGill University
and Génome Québec Innovation Centre, Génome Québec is helping to
accelerate the discovery of new applications for genomics in strategic
areas, such as human health, forestry and the environment. The funds
invested by Génome Québec are provided by the Ministry of Higher
Education, Research, Science and Technology, the Government of Canada,
through Genome Canada, and private partners. For more information,
The CRCHUM improves the health of adults through a high-quality academic
research continuum which, by improving our understanding of etiological
and pathogenic mechanisms, fosters the development, implementation and
assessment of new preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.
The CRCHUM provides a training environment to ensure the development of
new generations of researchers committed to research excellence.
About UCB Canada Inc.
Inspired by patients and driven by science, UCB Canada Inc. is a
patient-centric biopharmaceutical leader focused on the discovery and
development of innovative medicines and solutions to transform the
lives of people living with severe auto-immune and central nervous
system diseases. For more information, please consult www.ucb.com/worldwide/canada.
*The University of Montreal Hospital and the University of Montreal are
known officially as Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal and
Université de Montréal, respectively.
1 Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal
2 Canadian Epilepsy Alliance. Epilepsy Frequently Asked Questions.
Explaining Epilepsy. Available at: www.epilepsymatters.com/english/faq.html. Accessed on November 22, 2013.
SOURCE: UCB Canada Inc.
For further information:
Cohn & Wolfe
UCB Canada Inc.