IRIC and partners are awarded $14.95 million to accelerate the commercialization of novel cancer therapies

    MONTREAL, Feb. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - The Institute for Research in Immunology
and Cancer (IRIC) of the Université de Montréal is pleased to announce that it
has been awarded $14.95 million for the creation of IRICoR, a Centre of
Excellence in Commercialization and Research composed of IRIC, the University
Research Group on Drug Discovery and Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital and
dedicated to developing novel cancer therapies and bringing them to the
marketplace. Funding is provided by the Government of Canada through the
Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada.
    IRICoR will have access to a portfolio of basic discoveries made by more
than 75 research teams at the Université de Montréal. It will ensure that the
most promising ones move forward along an integrated drug discovery chain that
capitalizes on the outstanding research infrastructure recently set up by IRIC
and its partners as well as on the combined expertise of biologists, chemists,
pharmacologists, computer scientists and clinicians. IRICoR intends to develop
a new partnership model with the biopharmaceutical industry in order to
accelerate the commercialization of therapeutics that originate in academia.
    "Anti-cancer therapies that are based on an understanding of the
molecular origins of the disease are less toxic and more efficient than
conventional therapies such as chemotherapy," said Dr. Guy Sauvageau,
Scientific and General Director of IRIC and professor in the Department of
Medicine at the Université de Montréal. "Although these targeted therapies are
presently limited to some rare forms of cancer, they are quickly
revolutionizing the treatment of cancer. IRIC and its partners stand at the
forefront of this revolution and this new investment will allow us to
translate more efficiently our discoveries into clinical applications, for the
benefit of all those who suffer from cancer."

    About IRIC

    IRIC is a state-of-the-art biomedical research and training center at the
Université de Montréal. IRIC is committed to training tomorrow's scientists
and to finding novel cancer therapeutics through multidisciplinary approaches.
Its team of more than 250 scientists and professionals work on various aspects
of cancer research from basic science to clinical applications. IRIC is
expected to double in size by 2010. For more information, please visit our
website at

    About the University Research Group in Drug Discovery

    The mission of the University Research Group in Drug Discovery is to
develop and support research, training and technology transfer in the area of
drug discovery and evaluation.

    About Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont

    Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont is a hospital centre affiliated with the
Université de Montréal for the provision of care, teaching and scientific
research. Its 5,000 employees and 460 physicians work to promote the health
and well-being of the population of Montreal East. The hospital has achieved
international recognition for its work in hematology (bone marrow transplant),
nephrology and ophthalmology.

For further information:

For further information: Christian Lanctôt, Institute for Research in
Immunology and Cancer, (514) 343-6111 ext. 0315

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Université de Montréal

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