To accelerate research on Alzheimer's disease internationally - The FRSQ, Inserm and CIHR sign a France-Quebec-Canada partnership agreement on research on Alzheimer's disease



    LAVAL, QC, July 4 /CNW Telbec/ - The health research funding
organizations of Quebec (the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec, FRSQ),
France (the Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale, Inserm)
and Canada (the Canadian Institutes of Health Research's Institute of
Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction, and Institute of Aging) today
signed a co-operation agreement on Alzheimer's disease research.
    The announcement was made today at the Institut national de recherche
scientifique (INRS-Santé), in Laval, in the presence of the Prime Minister of
France, His Excellency François Fillon, and the Premier of Quebec, the
Honourable Jean Charest. Also present at the event and representing Quebec
were Michelle Courchesne, Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports and
Minister of Families, and Raymond Bachand, Minister of Economic Development,
Innovation and Export Trade and Minister of Tourism, while France was
represented by Alain Joyandet, Secretary of State for Cooperation and the
Francophonie, and Anne-Marie Idrac, Secretary of State for Foreign Trade.
    The agreement provides for the funding of research projects that reflect
specific objectives linked directly to the diagnosis, treatment or management
of patients with Alzheimer's disease or related diseases. The projects must be
significant and involve specialists in various disciplines and from various
university and hospital institutions forming multidisciplinary consortia.
These consortia must be structured in such a way as to contribute original
added value that each country would be unable to achieve alone.
    The partners of the FRSQ in this agreement are the Ministère du
Développement économique, de l'Innovation et de l'Exportation and the
Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux.

    Background
    ----------

    In France, this initiative flows from the ambitious plan to combat
Alzheimer's disease and related diseases launched February 1, 2008, by
President Nicolas Sarkozy. This plan provides for the creation of a scientific
co-operation foundation, in which academic and private partners will work
together.
    In Quebec, the project is in line with the mandate entrusted by the
Minister of Health and Social Services, the Honourable Philippe Couillard, to
the expert committee responsible for developing a national action plan with
regard to care, services and quality of life in relation to Alzheimer's
disease and related diseases, an action plan that is to be tabled in fall
2008.
    "This project fits in naturally with the close scientific co-operation
that has existed for many years between Quebec and France," said the Acting
President and CEO of the FRSQ, Dr. Marielle Gascon-Barré. "That co-operation
has proved especially fruitful in the neurosciences field, and it was clear
that the establishment of a major shared program on Alzheimer's disease was
needed."
    André Syrota, Inserm's Director General, is delighted that the scientific
cooperation between Inserm and the FRSQ, which goes back 40 years, is being
strengthened today to deal with the diseases that are the undeniable
priorities in the two countries.
    "The Canadian Institutes of Health Research is pleased to be associated
with this initiative, which is in line with the priorities of the Government
of Canada and addresses a major national health problem," said Dr. Alain
Beaudet, CIHR President. "We intend for this Franco-Quebec initiative to serve
as the catalyst for a broader co-operation program throughout the country that
will mobilize Canada's undeniable resources in this field.

    About the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ)

    The mission of the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ), which
reports to the Ministre du Développement économique, de l'Innovation et de
l'Exportation and the Ministre du Tourisme, is to support health research for
the benefit of the well-being of Quebecers. Its mandate is to promote and
provide funding for that research, knowledge dissemination and research
training, as well as to establish partnerships which are essential to the
Quebec's research and innovation system and to the expansion of research at
the international level. www.frsq.gouv.qc.ca

    About Inserm

    Inserm is the only French public research body entirely dedicated to
human health. Its researchers are committed to studying all diseases, whether
common or rare, through their research in the fields of biology, medicine and
public health.
    Created in 1964, Inserm is a public institution with a scientific and
technical vocation, under the dual auspices of the Ministry of Health and the
Ministry of Higher Education and Research. Inserm supports some 300
laboratories across France, with a total of 8,000 employees (researchers,
engineers, technicians and mangers). www.inserm.fr

    About CIHR

    The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of
Canada's agency for health research. CIHR's mission is to create new
scientific knowledge and to catalyze its translation into improved health,
more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian
health care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and
support to more than 10,000 health researchers and trainees across Canada.
www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca




For further information:

For further information: Michelle Dubuc, FRSQ, (514) 873-2114 x 235,
mdubuc@frsq.gouv.qc.ca; David Coulombe, CIHR, (613) 941-4563,
mediarelations@cihr-irsc.gc.ca; Priscille Rivière, Inserm, + 33 1 44 23 60 98,
presse@inserm.fr


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