MONTRÉAL, Nov. 6, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - The IRCM just signed an agreement with a leading international investment firm, Sanderling Ventures, to create Liphorus Pharmaceuticals. Up to 6.4 million dollars will be invested in the new spinoff company in the coming years. The IRCM concluded this agreement through its company Adaerata, in collaboration with Univalor.
"The IRCM is pleased to draw such an investment to Montréal, which reflects the quality of our health research," says Tarik Möröy, IRCM President and Scientific Director. "The investment will be used to develop a new technology related to the PCSK9 enzyme that was discovered, over 10 years ago, by our researchers, Nabil G. Seidah and Michel Chrétien."
More specifically, Liphorus will focus on small molecules that inhibit PCSK9 and whose activity is proving to be very promising in the treatment of high blood cholesterol. IRCM researchers have already clearly shown that these PSCK9 inhibitors reduce the level of bad blood cholesterol, thus helping reduce the risk of cardiovascular events. The small molecules in question could lead to the development of new pills.
"The creation of this company based on IRCM research is a reflection of the excellent work conducted at the institute in the highly-competitive field that is the development of PCSK9 inhibitors," mentions Laurence Rulleau, Vice-President of Business Development at Univalor. "Univalor, which has collaborated with the IRCM for the past several years, is delighted to have participated in the creation of Liphorus."
Based in California, Sanderling specializes in funding new biomedical companies. Sanderling established operations in Montréal in 2013 to develop early-stage life science projects and lead them to commercialization.
"We are excited to be working with one of the world's leading centres of expertise in this new therapeutic area," said Peter McWilliams, Managing Director at Sanderling Ventures. "The deep knowledge and experience that has been developed by the team at the IRCM since their discovery of this enzyme forms an exciting foundation upon which to build a company."
About the IRCM (Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal)
The IRCM (www.ircm.qc.ca) is a renowned biomedical research institute located in the heart of Montréal's university district. Founded in 1967, it is currently comprised of 34 research units and four specialized research clinics (cholesterol, cystic fibrosis, diabetes and obesity, hypertension). The IRCM is affiliated with the Université de Montréal, and the IRCM Clinic is associated to the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM). It also maintains a long-standing association with McGill University. The IRCM is funded by the Quebec ministry of Economy, Innovation and Export Trade (Ministère de l'Économie, de l'Innovation et des Exportations).
Univalor is a university technology transfer organization that commercializes scientific findings and technological innovations emanating from some 2,600 researchers at the Université de Montréal and its affiliated health centres, Polytechnique Montréal and HEC Montréal, in the areas of pure and applied sciences, engineering, information technology, management sciences, life sciences and human health. By creating links between the university and the business community, Univalor helps make businesses more competitive, generate revenue for research and, most importantly, enrich society. Univalor also helps researchers start businesses, whether they need assistance in developing a business plan, conducting research, negotiating and concluding financing, or accessing Univalor's business network. For more detailed information, visit www.univalor.ca.
Founded in 1979, Sanderling is among the oldest investment firms dedicated to building new biomedical companies. Sanderling's unique approach combines a specialized investment focus with active management and long-term commitment to ensure the highest rates of return for both its entrepreneurs and investors. Since its inception, Sanderling has supported over 90 biomedical companies from very early stage start-ups, through commercial development. For more detailed information, visit www.sanderling.com.
SOURCE: Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM)