A $12.5 million contribution will fund academic and hospital-affiliated research institutions
KIRKLAND, QC, Nov. 26, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Merck Canada announced today that it is reinforcing its commitment to growing Montréal's life sciences basic and translational research sector, by investing $12.5 million to fund research at three prominent university-affiliated and hospital-based research centres. This investment marks the latest contribution by Merck in its 2010 announcement to inject $100 million over five years in biopharmaceutical research and development (R&D) in Québec.
This investment by Merck supports the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), the CHUM Research Centre (CRCHUM) and the Montréal Heart Institute Research Centre (MHI), and their mission of promoting the development of scientific advancements that will improve healthcare.
"Merck is dedicated to supporting Québec's life sciences community, and we are proud to work in collaboration with the industry, government and academia," said Cyril Schiever, President and Managing Director, Merck Canada. "We believe initiatives like investing in top research institutes that conduct innovative basic and translational research are one of the best ways to improve R&D productivity and stimulate innovation in Québec."
At a press conference held today in collaboration with Montréal InVivo, the three affiliated and hospital-based research centres receiving contributions thanked Merck Canada for its contribution to the field of basic and translational research and for supporting the professional employment of highly-skilled researchers in Québec.
"Montreal is a leader in the life sciences research sector in North America thanks to the presence of world-class research institutions such as those who will benefit from today's announcement. Partners like Merck Canada help ensure that future discoveries by local scientists will keep impacting the lives of patients not only in Quebec but around the world," said Martin Leblanc, Vice-Chairman of the Board, Montréal InVivo.
"We are thrilled and grateful for Merck's generosity and its commitment to our young researchers, whose research will undoubtedly benefit from this support," Dr. Vassilios Papadopoulos, executive director and chief scientific officer of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, said. "Because of the collaboration between researchers at all stages of their careers, this donation will help foster new discoveries, leading to new and better treatments and cures, with the ultimate goal of improving and saving lives."
"The CRCHUM seeks to attain the highest standards of excellence in the development of new knowledge," said Dr. Jacques Turgeon, Director of the CHUM Research Centre. "Merck's contribution will allow us to enhance the academic and intellectual potential of the CRCHUM as we look forward to our new centre in 2013."
Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif, Director of the Montreal Heart Institute's Research Center says "The support of forward-thinking companies like Merck has contributed to making the Montreal Heart Institute a world-class institution."
Today's announcement brings the total Merck investments to date in the province to approximately $60 million. In March, Merck announced a $35 million investment in the Merck Lumira Biosciences Fund, as its primary investor and only pharmaceutical industry partner. The Fund, established by Merck in collaboration with Lumira Capital, Teralys Capital and other partners, provides investment capital to support early stage life science innovation in Québec. Prior to that Merck invested $6.8 million in AmorChem, a Québec life sciences venture capital fund, to increase the commercial potential of quality academic research carried out in Québec, and $5 million in the Québec Consortium for Drug Discovery (CQDM), which funds projects for the development of innovative tools and technologies that accelerate the drug discovery process.
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 www.merck.ca.
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. Such statements may include, but are not limited to, statements about the benefits of the merger between Merck and Schering-Plough, including future financial and operating results, the combined company's plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements that are not historical facts. Such statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Merck's management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties.
Actual results may differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements: the possibility that all of the expected synergies from the merger of Merck and Schering-Plough will not be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; Merck's ability to accurately predict future market conditions; dependence on the effectiveness of Merck's patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to 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 2011 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 (www.sec.gov).
Image with caption: "From left to right: Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif, Director, MHI Research Institute, Dr. Jacques Turgeon, Director, CHUM Research Centre, Mr. Cyril Schiever, President and Managing Director, Merck Canada, Dr. Vassilios Papadopoulos, Executive Director, RI-MUHC and Mr. Martin LeBlanc, Vice-Chairman of the Board, Montréal InVivo. (CNW Group/MERCK)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121126_C3445_PHOTO_EN_21191.jpg
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