Over $5 million to accelerate cancer research and innovation in Quebec
Over $5 million to accelerate cancer research and innovation in Quebec

05 June 2023

Oncopole strengthens its leadership role in the oncology ecosystem with the support of numerous partners

MONTREAL and BOSTON, June 5, 2023Oncopole, Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS) cancer division, is proud to announce major investments that bolster its unique public-private partnership model dedicated to the fight against cancer. Building on its dynamism and ability to mobilize stakeholders in the life sciences community, Oncopole will continue to pursue its mission thanks to a $3 million reinvestment from founding partner Merck Canada.

Furthermore, today Oncopole welcomes two world leaders in the pharmaceutical industry, GSK and Pfizer Canada, who have committed to investing $1 million and up to $1.5 million respectively for oncology research. These new partnerships will support the development of programs to mobilize financial and human resources for research into targeted and promising oncology treatments.

“We are very excited to be able to count on new partners,” said Carole Jabet, Director of Oncopole and Scientific Director of the FRQS. “These investments will enable us to accelerate the collaborative research essential to making a real difference in the lives of people affected by cancer.”

The new investments were announced at the BIO International Convention held in Boston from June 5 to 8, in the presence of Oncopole representatives; the Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy (MEIE), Mr. Pierre Fitzgibbon; partners Merck Canada, GSK and Pfizer Canada; along with several other life sciences companies.

“Merck Canada is pleased to announce its renewed commitment to Oncopole in support of oncology research. As a founding member, Merck Canada is proud to have participated in the creation of Oncopole and to continue its involvement in this initiative for oncology research, development, and investment, which has the potential to make a real difference in the lives of patients,” said Jennifer Chan, Vice-President, Policy and External Affairs, Merck Canada.

“GSK is proud to support Oncopole and its synergistic role in oncology innovation. Through our partnership, we want to help improve and accelerate access to the latest advances for patients,” said Ranya El-Masri, Vice President, Government Affairs and Market Access, GSK Canada. “Innovation is at the heart of GSK’s mission, and strategic partnerships are essential to opening up new avenues of discovery, to stay ahead of cancer together.”

“It is vital that all stakeholders, scientists, healthcare professionals and leaders in the healthcare system support research that addresses the unmet needs of people living with cancer. We are proud to partner with Oncopole to actively contribute to the development of innovative cancer therapies,” said Karine Grand’Maison, Vice-President, Access and Government Relations, Pfizer Canada.

This financial support underlines the growing confidence in Oncopole, the FRQS’s cancer division, a public-private consortium whose mission is to act as a catalyst for action in Quebec’s oncology research and innovation ecosystem.

Thanks to the support of founding partner Merck Canada and the Ministère de l’Économie, de l’Innovation et de l’Énergie, Oncopole has successfully mobilized key players in oncology research in Quebec since 2017. The investments announced today by GSK and Pfizer Canada will enable Oncopole to pursue its vision by focusing on strategic investments and partnerships that support innovation for the benefit of patients.

A unique and innovative platform for accessing innovation

With the goal of accelerating oncology research and strengthening implementation recommendations based on data from real-life healthcare settings, along with input from numerous collaborators, Oncopole announces the launch of the PROVEM program. The program will create a unique platform to facilitate dialogue between innovation promoters and drug and medical technology evaluators. Funding of $1.5 million will be awarded through a competition aimed at optimizing access to innovations whose value for patients and the healthcare system remains uncertain.

Accelerating care for cancer patients

Oncopole announces funding for six research projects, through the ACCES-Onco competition and an investment totalling over $1.5 million thanks to a public-private partnership between the MEIE and Merck Canada, along with support from the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation. Led by teams in Quebec, these projects will speed up access to optimal care for cancer patients. The aim is to develop access to treatments, care and services to prevent, detect and treat cancer.

About Oncopole, FRQS cancer division

Oncopole, FRQS cancer division, is the result of a unique co-creative approach, supporting research, innovation and investment to accelerate the fight against cancer, made possible by founding partner Merck Canada. Oncopole’s mission is to act as a catalyst for the actions deployed by Quebec’s oncology research and innovation ecosystem. It aims to position the province as a leader in the field., visit

About Merck

At Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, we are unified around our purpose: We use the power of leading-edge science to save and improve lives around the world. For more than 130 years, we have brought hope to humanity through the development of important medicines and vaccines. We aspire to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world – and today, we are at the forefront of research to deliver innovative health solutions that advance the prevention and treatment of diseases in people and animals. We foster a diverse and inclusive global workforce and operate responsibly every day to enable a safe, sustainable and healthy future for all people and communities. For more information about our operations in Canada, visit and connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter @MerckCanada.

About GSK

We are a global biopharma company with a purpose to unite science, technology and talent to get ahead of disease together. We make innovative vaccines and specialty medicines to prevent and treat disease. Our R&D focuses on the science of the immune system, human genetics and advanced technologies. We aim to positively impact the health of 2.5 billion people over the next 10 years. Find out more at

About Pfizer Canada

Pfizer Canada ULC is the Canadian operation of Pfizer Inc., one of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies. Our diversified healthcare portfolio includes some of the world’s best known and most prescribed medicines and vaccines. We apply science and our global resources to improve the health and well-being of Canadians at every stage of life. Our commitment is reflected in everything we do, from our disease awareness initiatives to our community partnerships. To learn more about Pfizer Canada, visit or you can follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

Sources and information:
Maxime Dumais
Principal Program Manager
Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQS)
Telephone: 514 873-2114, ext. 4010