Anne Marinier and Marc Therrien are among the winners of the LeadAction-Onco competition

Published on June 27, 2019

The teams of Anne Marinier and Marc Therrien, Principal Investigators at IRIC, were selected as part of the LeadAction-Onco Competition, a joint project by IRICoR and the Oncopole.
The announcement of the four recipients was made on June 4, 2019, by the Minister of Economy and Innovation, Mr. Pierre Fitzgibbon, on the occasion of the opening of the Quebec Pavilion at the BIO International Convention in Philadelphia.
As part of this competition, an investment of $2.4 million over two years will support these four cancer drug discovery projects in Canada.

The winning projects of Anne Marinier and Marc Therrien are respectively:

  • Development of Electron Transport Chain (ETC) complex I inhibitors as poor outcome AML treatment: Poor outcome acute myeloid leukemias represent an unmet medical need. Their recent studies show that a large portion of those leukemias, exhibiting a distinct genetic and metabolic identity, are sensitive to inhibition of electron transport chain complex I (ETC1) activity. The goal of this project is to develop a novel ETC1 inhibitor with improved potency and efficiency that will be ready for pre-clinical safety studies.


  • Development of first-in-class inhibitors of RAS GTPases:Activating mutations of RAS family proteins (H-, K- or NRAS) are collectively the most frequent causal event found in cancer of all types. Unfortunately, there are currently no therapeutic options to selectively target RAS activity. To make macrocycles (small molecules) a viable therapeutic option, we now need to improve their binding affinity to RAS and increase their ability to enter the cells. The objective of the project is to identify macrocycles that will block RAS activity in cancer cells in vitro and eventually, tumor growth in animal models.