The Quebec Consortium for Drug Discovery (CQDM) announces an investment of close to $8 million dollars in biopharmaceutical research in Québec



    The projects will have a major impact on the research and development of
    new drugs in the field of Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, cardiovascular
    diseases and vaccines

    MONTREAL, June 8 /CNW Telbec/ - Four outstanding projects have been
selected from the first competition on drug discovery launched by the CQDM in
the fall of 2008. All research proposals have been evaluated through an
exhaustive due diligence process involving, among others, an independent
scientific and industrial expert panel led by the Fonds de recherche en santé
du Québec (FRSQ). These projects aimed at developing new enabling technologies
that can significantly facilitate the drug discovery process.
    Quebec is recognized for the quality of its research. The selected CQDM's
research projects will be conducted by multidisciplinary top level Quebec
researchers, recognized as international leaders in their respective field.
    Because of its innovative and unique approach, CQDM promotes the creation
of synergy between academic and industrial research. "The four awarded
projects are perfectly well-aligned with CQDM's mission which is to fund
innovative enabling tools and technologies that could have a significant
impact on the drug discovery process for the biopharmaceutical industry", said
Max Fehlmann, President and CEO, CQDM.
    Based on genuine private-public partnerships, the selected projects
involve four companies (Medicago, Caprion, SNC-Lavalin and Perkin Elmer) and
four universities (McGill, Montreal, Laval and Sherbrooke). This investment
will generate the employment of more than 30 full-time equivalent researchers,
postdoctoral fellows and students.
    Thanks to the contributions and commitments of CQDM's private and public
partners such as Pfizer Canada, AstraZeneca Canada, Merck Frosst Canada Ltd.,
the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ), the Ministère du
Développement économique, de l'Innovation et de l'Exportation (MDEIE) and the
Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence (BL-NCE), it is possible to
invest in cutting-edge technologies that could accelerate the development of
more effective and safer drugs and consequently affect patient's health care.
    Further to fostering greater investments in R-D in the public sector and
the biopharmaceutical industry, CQDM offers an original collaborative model
from which new partnerships can emerge. "The number and the quality of the
drug discovery proposals received for the first competition - 78 - further
underlines the dynamism of research groups in the province of Quebec and
demonstrate their willingness to collaborate with the industry to address the
increasing medical challenges generated by the rising needs of an aging
population", explains Bernard Prigent, Chairman of the Scientific Orientation
Committee of CQDM and Medical Director of Pfizer Canada.

    
    This year CQDM's selected projects will focus on:

    1) Developing a method to rapidly identify and test new vaccines against
       the influenza virus (for instance the A(H1N1) virus) and other
       families of viruses (Louis-Philippe Vézina, Medicago Inc.);

    2) Developing tools to allow the early identification of patients with
       Alzheimer's disease (Louis Collins, Montreal Neurological Institute,
       McGill University);

    3) Discovering and validating new biomarkers to better monitor the
       progression of diabetes and the response to treatments (Eustache
       Paramithiotis, Caprion Proteomics Inc.);

    4) Developing molecular and cellular tools to predict efficacy of new
       drugs (Michel Bouvier, IRIC, Université de Montréal).
    

    The presentation and announcement of the projects will be made on June
8th, 2009 during the CQDM/Montreal InVivo Creative Partnerships in
Biopharmaceutical Research Forum. "This event will allow the partners from the
public and private biopharmaceutical sector and other stakeholders of the
industry to share their views on critical issues for Quebec, such as the
productivity and value-added creation of the research conducted", indicated
Michelle Savoie, Montréal InVivo's CEO.
    The event will be held at the Club Saint-James in Montréal.

    About CQDM

    CQDM is a not-for-profit organization that responds to the needs of the
pharmaceutical industry by contributing to accelerating drug discovery and
developing safer, more effective drugs. CQDM's funding is provided by the
FRSQ, the MDEIE, the BL-NCE, Pfizer Canada, AstraZeneca Canada and Merck
Frosst Canada Ltd.
    For more information, visit: www.cqdm.org




For further information:

For further information: Christine O'Doherty, Montréal InVivo, (514)
987-9378, christine.odoherty@montreal-invivo.com; Fact sheets and researchers
bios are available at the following address:
http://creativepartnerships2009.montreal-invivo.com

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CQDM

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