Logo Oncopole vertical avec slogan FRA $15 million investment from Merck

Merck & Co., Inc., and the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS) are proud to announce the creation of Oncopole: a research, development, and investment hub to accelerate the fight against cancer. The Oncopole is starting with a solid foundation with a $15-million financial commitment over three years from Merck. The funds will be administered by FRQS.

Following a comprehensive analysis of various hosting possibilities identified in the province, the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) at the Université de Montréal was selected as the hosting institution for the Oncopole’s coordination offices.

A unique model

The Oncopole brings various partners around a structuring project. This is a one-of-a-kind co-creative partnership with an inclusive ideation and implementation process connected to the scientific community: over the past year, more than 50 experts worked together to establish the Oncopole’s priorities. Recognizing the wide range of resources and infrastructures currently available and the strategic position of several local researchers, this project will consolidate the current operating forces to benefit the patient.

From left to right: Jacques Simard, professor at the Department of molecular medicine at Université Laval and Assistant Director Fundamental Research at Centre de recherche du CHU de Québec, Rémi Quirion, Scientist in Chief of Québec Chairman of the boards of Fonds de recherche du Québec, Chirfi Guindo, President and Managing Director of Merck Canada inc., Dominique Anglade, Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation and Minister responsible for the Digital Strategy, Adam Schechter, Executive Vice President and President, Global Human Health

From left to right: Jacques Simard, Professor at the Department of molecular medicine at Université Laval and Assistant Director Fundamental Research at Centre de recherche du CHU de Québec, Rémi Quirion, Scientist in Chief of Québec and Chairman of the boards of Fonds de recherche du Québec, Chirfi Guindo, President and Managing Director of Merck Canada inc., Dominique Anglade, Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation and Minister responsible for the Digital Strategy, Adam Schechter, Executive Vice President and President, Global Human Health

The Oncopole galvanizes the community around a shared vision:

  • Create a collaborative and structuring oncology hub recognized globally for its consistency, efficiency, and forward-thinking
  • Enable the development and creation of companies capitalizing on innovation
  • Generate direct positive impact for patients
  • Position oncology care in Quebec among the best globally for clinical results, patient experience, and system efficiency

The next phase

The launch of the Oncopole outlines the next steps to consolidate the project and its structure. The Oncopole will leverage other projects by creating a centre of excellence at the leading edge of innovation in the fight against cancer.

The FRQS and Merck hope to see this initial investment encourage other partners to join the Oncopole and transform this project into a major hub for innovation in oncology.

Quote from Mrs. Dominique Anglade, Quebec Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation and Minister responsible for the Digital Strategy

“Thanks to its vibrancy and effervescence, its many universities and high-level research infrastructures, the province of Quebec is now perfectly suited to carry out major projects. The Oncopole, a top-quality and far-reaching hub, will better position Quebec researchers and give them the tools they need to drive our innovations in Canada and internationally.”

Quote from Dr. Gaétan Barrette, Quebec Minister of Health and Social Services

“This initiative is part of the spirit of change we wish to bring to the health community in Quebec. This is a collaborative project focussed on innovation and interdisciplinarity. Patients will be the primary recipients of this project’s positive impact, both from the clinical standpoint and the healthcare experience. As part of our collective efforts in the fight against cancer, this excellence and expertise hub is likely to become a leading partner, particularly for the Quebec cancer network.”

Quote from Mr. Rémi Quirion, Chief Scientist of Quebec and Chair of the Boards of Directors of the Fonds de recherche du Québec

“With patients being the ultimate recipients of the impact of the Oncopole, I am very proud to see our province, through the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé, play a key role in this unique initiative. The Oncopole will help us to position Quebec as a centre of excellence at the cutting edge of research and innovation in the fight against cancer.”

Quote from Mr. Chirfi Guindo, President and Managing Director, Merck Canada Inc.

“Merck is pleased to have found a fertile ground in Quebec to form this unique alliance between public and private partners. The collaboration between the Ministry of Health and Social Services and the Ministry of Economy, Science and Innovation represents a significant asset for an organization like ours. The province already possesses a considerable expertise in oncology, and the Oncopole will serve as an accelerator for promising innovations that will benefit cancer patients. While we are the first private partner in this initiative, we hope to see other organizations join us so that, together, we may combine our strengths to reach ambitious goals and improve the well-being of patients.”

Quote from Mr. Michel Bouvier, Chief Executive Officer of IRIC and Deputy Vice-Rector, Research, Discovery, Creation and Innovation at the Université de Montréal

“On behalf of the Université de Montréal, we are extremely happy to have been selected as the managing institution of the Oncopole. This major initiative will serve as an innovation accelerator in the discovery of new therapies and will certainly have a concrete and direct impact on patients.”

About Merck

For more than a century, Merck has been a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and animal health 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 Canadian operations, please visit www.merck.ca or follow us on Twitter @MerckCanada and on YouTube .

About the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé

Under the responsibility of the Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation, the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS) is dedicated to supporting health research with the goal to improve the well-being of the population of Quebec. Its role is to promote and provide funding for those types or research; disseminate knowledge; ensure the training of researchers; establish the partnerships required for the development of Quebec’s research and innovation system; and promote the international outreach of the research community. www.frqs.gouv.qc.ca

About the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer

An ultra-modern research hub and training centre located in the heart of the Université de Montreal, the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) was created in 2003 to shed light on the mechanisms of cancer and discover new, more effective therapies to counter this disease. IRIC operates according to a model that is unique in Canada. Its innovative approach to research has already led to discoveries that will, over the coming years, have a significant impact on the fight against cancer. For further information.

Information

Olivier Dilain
Communication and media relations advisor
Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer│IRIC
Université de Montréal
olivier.dilain@umontreal.ca│514-343-7283