The Center for Drug R&D, IRICoR partner
The Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer—Commercialization of Research (IRICoR) at the Université de Montréal (UdeM) and the Center for Drug R&D (CDRD) have initiated collaborations on three new drug development projects. These projects, which address areas of high unmet medical need, are being supported by funding from Merck & Co. to IRICoR.
These projects are part of Merck’s $2 million commitment to support British Columbia-Quebec corridor projects between IRICoR and CDRD, both drug discovery hubs created to accelerate the process of drug development and commercialization in Canada. CDRD and IRICoR are working together to leverage their existing resources and to reduce risk, while catalyzing new opportunities to develop discoveries into therapeutics for patients.
The projects are:
- Identification of biomarkers and small molecule inhibitors for a novel form of resistance in cancer therapies
- Screening of specific small molecules as possible future treatments for two types of drug-induced dyskinesia, a debilitating and common side effect of the management of Parkinson's disease
- Hit-to-lead screening and refinement of new small molecule inhibitors of human telomerase to inhibit the growth of cancer tumor cells.
Karimah Es Sabar, CDRD president and CEO, said, "As a national center, CDRD is committed to building partnerships such as this that bring together complementary expertise and infrastructure. We are pleased to be able to support Canadian researchers across the country, including those throughout Quebec's research institutions. By way of these and additional projects currently underway, we are proud to be fostering an effective, dynamic and collaborative drug development environment in Canada."
"IRICoR's contribution to drug discovery originating from Canadian academic discoveries already had a major impact, and we are confident that these new projects will yield innovative therapeutic candidates," said Michel Bouvier, IRICoR's president and CEO. "The investment by Merck to catalyze the translation of basic research from scientists at IRIC and collaborating centers into drug discovery programs contributes to enrich IRICoR's projects pipeline that will ultimately yield new therapies in a number of indications with high unmet medical need. The partnership with CDRD will further strengthen the role that IRICoR is playing in the drug discovery ecosystem in Canada, and position the country as a source of innovation for the biopharmaceutical industry."