Merck Canada allocates $16 million in grants to support health related research with a translational component at four of Quebec's university hospital centers

QUEBEC CITY, Oct. 3, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - At an announcement made earlier today, at the BioContact Quebec Biopharmaceutical Partnership Symposium, Merck Canada confirmed its commitment to the Quebec life sciences research innovation sector by allocating a total of $16 million in grants to four of Quebec's university hospital centres: Université de Montréal, Université de Sherbrooke, Université Laval and McGill University.

The grant received by each institution will be used to support health research with a translational component conducted in areas of unmet medical need.

"At Merck, we strive to identify and support areas that will have the most effect on fulfilling the unmet needs of patients, who are at the core of everything we do. In addition, we want to contribute to strengthening the life sciences sector in Quebec through research performed by teams of world class scientists. We believe that with these grants, we have achieved both of these goals," said Dr. Thomas R. Cannell, President and Managing Director, Merck Canada Inc.

"Today's announcement proves without a doubt that world-class businesses such as Merck have confidence in Quebec expertise to advance life sciences research. It also helps reinforce the collaborative efforts of numerous researchers from Quebec universities. High-calibre scientific research is central to Quebec's development," said Pierre Duchesne, Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology.

Developing a strong infrastructure in Quebec

"As populations age and diseases become increasingly chronic and complex, the health care challenges we face are significant. Collaborations like these are fundamental in advancing the biomedical research being conducted by our outstanding scientists, and in translating their discoveries into better health care for Quebecers. We are tremendously proud to be partnering with Merck Research Laboratories to bring the benefits of our work to society more swiftly," said Dr. David Eidelman, Vice-Principal (Health Affairs) and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University.

"Université Laval's Faculty of Medicine would like to thank Merck for its significant donation, which will allow us to create a fund dedicated to research in biomedical sciences and the transfer of knowledge. In the context of establishing Alliance Québec for innovative research in life and health sciences, this donation constitutes a vital contribution to the development of health research in Quebec's National Capital. The Faculty of Medicine intends to use some of the funds to support the work of young researchers," affirmed Rénald Bergeron, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Université Laval.

"We want to express our gratitude to Merck Canada for supporting the Faculté de médecine et des sciences de la santé (FMSS) at the Université de Sherbrooke through this important grant. We feel privileged to be part of Merck's new collaborative approach to R&D and proud to bring our contribution to improving the health and well-being of individuals and populations," said Dr. Pierre Cossette, Dean of the Faculté de médecine et des sciences de la santé at the Université de Sherbrooke.

"We join all our academic colleagues in acknowledging that the support announced today will not only help our teams of scientists remain at the forefront of research, but it will also serve as a model for future partnerships that are essential to the development of new and much needed medical discoveries," said Dr. Hélène Boisjoly, Dean of Medicine at Université de Montréal.

This announcement marks the latest contribution by Merck towards its commitment to inject $100 million over five years in biopharmaceutical R&D in Quebec. Today's announcement brings the total contributions by Merck to approximately $84 million.

Note: All amounts expressed in this press release are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise noted.

About Merck
Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well.  Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. Through our medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer and animal products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information about our operations in Canada, visit

About Université de Montréal
University of Montreal's Faculty of Medicine has the largest number of medical school admissions in North America, is the first in Canada for the number of admissions in medicine, rehabilitation, speech-language pathology and audiology and the only medical school in Canada with a nutrition department. Through its extensive health network and the major responsibilities it has been given by the government of Québec in terms of health care, the Faculty of Medicine plays a leading social role.

About Université de Sherbrooke
The Faculté de médecine et des sciences de la santé (FMSS) at the Université de Sherbrooke is rooted in and committed to the communities where it continues to evolve. Its mission is to provide training, conduct research, and disseminate knowledge while fostering critical and creative thinking with the goal of improving the health and well-being of individuals and populations. The FMSS is the first Canadian and first French-language faculty of medicine to be recognized by the World Health Organization as a Collaborating Centre for the training of human resources. With its pedagogical innovations which have earned it an enviable reputation, and its five centres and thirty research teams, over the years it has become a major faculty on the Québec and international stage. The FMSS offers 89 study programs in medicine, nursing, rehabilitation and many research programs.

About Université Laval
With more than 70 academic programs, including 16 at the master's and doctoral levels, Canada's first French-speaking faculty of medicine provides training to more than 4,000 students in health sciences annually. Our 280 research professors actively take part in the development of fundamental, clinical and population health research, generating more than $130 million in scholarships, contracts and grants. With our 40 research chairs and four affiliated research centres, research activities at the Faculty contribute towards the transfer of knowledge and improved population health.

About McGill University
Founded in 1829, the McGill Faculty of Medicine was the first faculty established at the University and the first medical faculty in Canada. Today, it comprises the Schools of Medicine, Physical and Occupational Therapy, and Communication Sciences and Disorders, and the Ingram School of Nursing, offering excellence in post-secondary education and research that is internationally renowned. It is home to an exceptional community of health care professionals, scientists, students and support personnel committed to improving the health of Quebecers and all of society. Through the Réseau universitaire intégré de santé McGill, the Faculty of Medicine, together with its network of affiliated teaching hospitals and partners, is also responsible for coordinating access to training, research and health care for close to 1.8 million Quebecers across 63 per cent of the province's landmass.

The news release and photograph are available at

Forward Looking Statement
This news release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Merck's management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; Merck's ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of Merck's patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.

Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in Merck's 2012 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company's other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC's Internet site (


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Ani Armenian

Stephanie Lyttle
NATIONAL Public Relations


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