The Canadian scientific community gathered in Ottawa this week to engage in a national dialogue on science, technology and innovation policy at the annual Canadian Science Policy Conference. Just prior to the Keynote Address at this event by the Honorable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, Merck Canada and CDRD (The Centre for Drug Research and Development) announced the establishment of a new $1.5M Merck-CDRD Innovation Fund. This fund will go directly towards the advancement of projects of high therapeutic potential carried out at CDRD in collaboration with academic researchers.
As Canada’s national drug development and commercialization center, CDRD has established Innovation Funds with leading industry and foundation partners. These funds support Canadian life sciences researchers, and enable the translation of discoveries into innovative therapeutic products and potentially improved health outcomes for patients. The Merck-CDRD Innovation Fund builds on the long-standing partnership between the two organizations that has now dedicated over $5M towards advancing cutting-edge science of our academic partners, including Merck’s support of the NeuroCDRD platform at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital at McGill University (MNI).
“This collaborative partnership further illustrates that Merck is committed to contributing to Canada’s flourishing life sciences sector, which represents an enormous opportunity for economic growth and health innovation,” said Jennifer Chan, Vice President, Policy and External Affairs, Merck Canada. “We are committed to working collaboratively with governments, universities and other stakeholders to discover, develop and implement health solutions that improve patient outcomes in a manner that is consistent with the sustainability of our healthcare system.”
Gordon McCauley, President and CEO of CDRD added, “The Merck-CDRD Innovation fund is another example of the strong partnership my colleagues have built over many years with our global industry partners, and the critical part they play in the success of not only CDRD, but of Canada’s health sciences sector. It also speaks to the spirit of collaboration that exists in Canada. By working together, we can all be catalysts for Canadian life sciences leading the world.”