Lab Canada

Merck Frosst joins new MaRS Centre: one of numerous R&D investments

Toronto, ON – Supporting efforts to strengthen and expand the Ontario biotechnology sector, Merck Frosst Canada says it will be taking up residency at the new MaRS Centre. The company says it is committing up to $3 million in the project.

The MaRS Centre is located in the heart of downtown Toronto, close to world-renowned teaching and research hospitals, the University of Toronto and Canada’s financial core. The new $345-million facility is a convergence innovation centre that connects the leadership in science, business and capital to create a more efficient commercialization marketplace in Canada.

“At Merck Frosst, we strongly believe in the importance and value of partnerships to attract and promote R&D investments in Canada," says Andr Marcheterre, the company’s president. "I am confident that MaRS is an excellent initiative that will strengthen and accelerate the rate of successful commercialization of new discoveries in Ontario."

Merck Frosst will be locating employees from business development, corporate affairs, vaccines and patient health management into the new facility. Construction of the new space is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

The company says it is encouraged by the government’s recent initiatives to increase support to the life sciences sector with the investments in MaRS, the Innovation Park in Hamilton and the Chair in Productivity and Competitiveness at the University of Toronto.

The MaRS initiative builds on the numerous research and development investments Merck Frosst has made in Ontario. Recent investments include:

– $5.5 million to the Robarts Research Institute to support the clinical imaging research laboratories, an ambitious public-private partnership to advance research findings through clinical studies. Unique in Canada, the facility is a hub for multidisciplinary imaging research in respiratory, cardiovascular and orthopedic medicine using state-of-the-art imaging technologies, including high- and low-field MRI scanners, 3D-ultrasound and bi-directional X-ray;

– $1.5 million for the Toronto General Hospital to establish a chair in diabetes to further research in this area;

– $1 million for the establishment of a chair in organic chemistry at the University of Toronto;

– $1 million for a chair in rheumatology at the Arthritis Centre of Excellence; and

– Donation of a high resolution mass spectrometer worth more than $300,000 to the department of chemistry at the University of Waterloo to spur on health, biochemical and biomaterials research.