AstraZeneca Canada and Pfizer Canada join forces with the Government of
Québec to establish a new R&D model in the biopharmaceutical industry
MONTREAL, Nov. 23, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - AstraZeneca Canada and Pfizer
Canada, two leaders in the country's biopharmaceutical industry, are
forming a partnership with the Québec government to create the NĒOMED
Institute, a new kind of life sciences research centre. A total of $100
million will be invested to establish and support the research centre
over five years.
The NĒOMED Institute will act as a catalyst in two ways: first, by
creating a bridge between academic research and the life sciences
companies; second, by providing an environment that will create
synergies between the main biotech industry players. The non-profit
research hub will seek to bring key stakeholders in the research and
development chain - including researchers, universities, biotechnology
and pharmaceutical companies, venture capital funds - under the same
roof, working together in an open, collaborative environment. More than
100 highly qualified employees are expected to be working there when it
reaches full capacity.
AstraZeneca Canada is donating $35 million to the NĒOMED Institute. This
includes land, the neuroscience basic research facility, and
leading-edge laboratory equipment. It also includes the donation of
intellectual property to three AstraZeneca pain molecules and projects,
as well as $5 million to support the activities of the institute.
Pfizer Canada is providing a financial contribution of approximately
$3.5 million, and the Québec government is contributing $28 million
toward the project.
Based on a model which involves sharing knowledge, expertise and
resources, the NĒOMED Institute aims to strengthen the life sciences
sector in Québec by helping to stimulate research and collaboration,
accelerate and facilitate the transition from academic research to the
development of new drugs. It will also seek to attract investment by
showcasing the results of local research to international investors.
"The cost of discovering new drugs keeps rising and pharmaceutical
companies need to adapt," said Max Fehlmann, new President and CEO of
the institute, which will be located in the former AstraZeneca building
in the Saint-Laurent borough's technology park. He added: "The NĒOMED
Institute, acting as a competitive actor in the drug development
sector, will allow Québec's scientists to make the bridge between
academic innovations and commercial opportunities in a better way."
For her part, Elaine Campbell, President, AstraZeneca Canada Inc., said:
"Today's announcement is a strong testament to AstraZeneca's commitment
to biopharmaceutical research and development in Quebec and Canada.
Through the creation of the NĒOMED Institute, we're proud to be working
in collaboration with our partners to advance drug discovery and bridge
the innovation gap through to successful commercialization."
Added John Helou, President of Pfizer Canada Inc.: "We are excited by
NĒOMED because it exemplifies the type of partnership activity that is
needed in our new R&D model. NĒOMED complements our long-time Canadian
R&D investment strategy which has been focussed on innovative
NĒOMED is a not-for-profit organization that will pioneer a new approach
to drug development as a public-private partnership with the Québec
government and bio-pharmaceutical companies. NĒOMED is a response to
the changing Pharma R&D business model: in view of the considerable gap
between basic research and later-stage drug development, we seek to
create a bridge. We will provide expertise and funding for academic
labs and early biotechs, assisting them in bringing emerging
therapeutic approaches to the stage of human proof of concept; at which
point these de-risked projects will have gained significant value for
NĒOMED's downstream partners. The NĒOMED Institute occupying the former
AstraZeneca facility in the Technoparc Montréal is a biopharmaceutical
research hub based on a new model where players in the life sciences
ecosystem (pharmaceutical companies, biotechs, venture capitalists and
contract research organizations (CROs)) will be co-located to
facilitate innovation, collaboration and creativity. The institute and
its partners will benefit from an impressive array of rare and highly
specialized equipment in laboratories specifically designed for the
discovery of small-molecule drugs.
About AstraZeneca Canada Inc.
AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business
with a primary focus on the discovery, development and
commercialization of prescription medicines for gastrointestinal,
cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, oncology
and infectious disease. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and
its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.
AstraZeneca's Canadian headquarters are located in Mississauga,
Ontario. For more information, please visit the company's website at www.astrazeneca.ca.
About Pfizer Canada Inc.
Pfizer Canada Inc. is the Canadian operation of Pfizer Inc., the world's
leading biopharmaceutical company. Pfizer discovers, develops,
manufactures and markets prescription medicines for humans and animals.
Pfizer Inc. invests more than US$7 billion annually in R&D to discover
and develop innovative life-saving and life-enhancing medicines in a
wide range of therapeutic areas. Our diversified healthcare portfolio
includes human and animal biologic and small-molecule medicines and
vaccines, and many of the world's best-known consumer products. For
more information, visit www.pfizer.ca.
SOURCE: NEOMED Institute
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