Montreal, April 9, 2018 – The Oncopole proudly announces the support of three new partners to help fund its first competition, EMC2 (Results to be published in June). This competition objective is to fund federative research projects to build on Quebec’s expertise and strengths in the field of oncology.

From the outset, CQDM will provide up to 40% of the budget for projects jointly selected with Oncopole that respond to their SynergiQc program criteria, while IRICoR will support drug discovery projects within their investment criteria. For genomics-related projects, Génome Québec will likewise provide substantial financial support up to $2M.

These funds will be combined to $1.5M already committed by the Cancer Research Society last February, which brings the total envelope for the EMC2 competition up to $11M in grants. These significant contributions represent a decisive landmark where these leading organizations recognize the value of the unique model put forward by Oncopole.

With the creation of an attractive collaborative hub for researchers and funding organizations, Oncopole is achieving its goal of uniting key players in the field of oncology and fulfilling its mission to make Quebec a centre of excellence in the fight against cancer.

Montreal, March 20, 2018 – The Oncopole and IRICoR have joined forces to launch the Scholarship Competition – Entrepreneurship in Oncology (CEO), offering the next generation of scientists an opportunity to take part in the first cohort of the new Life Sciences Entrepreneurship Development Program.

This practical and immersive program was launched by Montréal InVivo, Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Pharmacy and Concordia University’s John Molson Executive Centre, in collaboration with IRICoR, for the purpose of developing entrepreneurial skills in life sciences. Those taking part in the program will benefit from over 150 hours of management training to enhance their knowledge of innovative company development strategies.

IRICoR and the Oncopole are proud to announce the awarding of 8 scholarships to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the field of oncology research: Nezahat Ozlem Arat (IRIC/UdeM); Simon Beaudoin (USherbrooke); Milad Dagher (McGillU); Jacqueline Ha (Jewish General Hospital, McGillU); Christina Mastromonaco (MUHC, McGillU); Laura Simon (IRIC/UdeM); Mona Wu (Jewish General Hospital, McGillU); and Yu Zhan (CRCHUM).

Nadine Beauger, Chief Executive Officer of IRICoR, wishes to congratulate the winners and is delighted that her organization will tangibly contribute to training the next generation of scientists. “Developing entrepreneurial skills is at the very heart of our sector’s future. There is no doubt in my mind that the winners of these first scholarships will make the most of the program and that they will also mutually benefit from their already rich expertise”.

Mrs. Stéphanie Lord-Fontaine, Executive Director of the Oncopole, would like to point out “the excellence and diversity of the backgrounds of the applications selected” and is convinced “that it will be a very dynamic cohort”.

About the Oncopole

The Oncopole is a Quebec hub for research, development and investment to accelerate the fight against cancer. Created in February of 2017, it is the product of a unique co-creation process led by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS) and made possible by an initial $15M investment from Merck Canada. The Oncopole’s mission is to act as a catalyst leveraging actions made by the key players in Quebec’s oncology and innovation research ecosystem. As a result, it aims to position the province as a leader in the field. Its priorities of action, namely research, entrepreneurship, commercialization and integration of innovation, as well as clinical relevance, are orchestrated in order to foster the mobilization of stakeholders, the discovery of innovative approaches to fight cancer and, ultimately, a positive impact for the benefit of patients. For more information, go to: oncopole.ca

About IRICoR (Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer – Commercialization of Research)

As Université de Montréal’s drug discovery and project maturation cluster, IRICoR is a not-for-profit organization based at the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC), with the mandate to accelerate the discovery, development and commercialization of novel therapies in cancer, immunotherapy and related fields. Since its creation in 2008, IRICoR successfully invests in and supports cutting-edge projects with disruptive potential to rapidly translate innovation into patient-accessible therapies, through either co-development partnerships with industry or company creation. IRICoR seamlessly integrates business-related expertise with industry-level drug discovery in a world-renowned research institute, providing academics with access to a full drug discovery chain with one of the largest academia-based medicinal chemistry groups in Canada. For more information about IRICoR: iricor.ca

Within the framework of the Alternating Meetings of the Prime Minister of Québec and the Prime Minister of France, Rémi Quirion, Québec Chief Scientist, met with Olivier Exertier, Secretary-General of CLARA, and Véronique Trillet-Lenoir, Chair of the CLARA Management Committee, at the Hôtel de Matignon, in Paris, on March 8, 2018.

At that meeting, an agreement was signed between CLARA and the Québec Oncopole, bringing together key players in cancer research, including Université de Montréal, McGill University, Université de Sherbrooke, Université Laval, Université de Lyon, Université Saint-Etienne, Université Grenoble and Université Clermont-Ferrand. By establishing a formal collaboration between the two centers of excellence, the partnership will promote cross-fertilization with respect to common themes of interest such as genomics and precision medicine, cell therapy and the organization of cancer care. The announcement builds on productive scientific collaborations connecting CLARA and Canada since 2000, involving over 1,300 publications.

Véronique Trillet-Lenoir is delighted by this “joint mobilization that will foster exchanges between the two regions and contribute to the attractiveness of cancer research”.

The implementation of joint research programs and the mutual investment in student mobility scholarships will shape this international collaboration. Focusing on knowledge sharing between both parties, the partnership will also foster the organization of scientific symposiums bringing together experts from the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region and Québec. A first event is scheduled for November of 2018 as part of the entretiens Jacques Cartier, to be held in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes.

Rémi Quirion said that he is pleased to see that a collaboration has taken shape, which he expects to be “a source of mutual enrichment that will provide international outreach through common research projects and the exchange of good practices”.

About the Oncopole

The Oncopole is a Quebec hub for research, development and investment to accelerate the fight against cancer. Created in February of 2017, it is the product of a unique co-creation process led by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS) and made possible by an initial $15M investment from Merck Canada. The Oncopole’s mission is to act as a catalyst leveraging actions made by the key players in Quebec’s oncology and innovation research ecosystem. As a result, it aims to position the province as a leader in the field. Its priorities of action, namely research, entrepreneurship, commercialization and integration of innovation, as well as clinical relevance, are orchestrated in order to foster the mobilization of stakeholders, the discovery of innovative approaches to fight cancer and, ultimately, a positive impact for the benefit of patients. For more information, go to: oncopole.ca

About the Lyon Auvergne Rhône-Alpes Cancer Cluster (CLARA)

The Lyon Auvergne Rhône-Alpes Cancer Cluster (CLARA) is an initiative launched and funded by the public authorities (National Cancer Institute, Local Authorities and the European Regional Development Fund). It is part of the National Cancer Plans and aims to develop oncology research in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. Since 2003, CLARA has been bringing together academic, clinical and industrial players throughout the region, in the service of a regional, national and international strategy for the fight against cancer with a twofold objective: the rapid transfer of discoveries to patients and the economic valuation of research. In addition to its commitment to all research stakeholders to promote their decompartmentalization and collaborations, the cancer cluster supports projects through a structured service offer developed in line with their needs. CLARA is also developing actions to open research to the humanities and social sciences and public health issues, putting the patient at the heart of research.

CLARA is under the auspices of the Fondation Léa et Napoléon Bullukian, a charitable foundation. For more information: www.canceropole-clara.com @canceroCLARA