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$2M grant supports personalized treatment in cancer


Montreal, QC – Merck Canada has announced a $2-million grant to the Quebec – Consortium de recherche en oncologie clinique (Q-CROC). The grant will go towards biomarker-driven clinical research for personalized medicine in cancer, notably in the framework of a public-private partnership put forward by Q-CROC and the newly formed Centre of Excellence PreThera Research.

The Business-Led Network of Centres of Excellence in Precision Therapeutics (PreThera Research) has been established to help develop cancer treatments that are increasingly personalized for patients by combining the latest discoveries in cancer biology with new approaches to clinical trials. The network’s research program will take advantage of the current understanding that almost all tumours can be divided into smaller groups with a unique biomarker – a molecular signature that can be targeted by a specific drug. Using a growing database that identifies these biomarkers and the patients that have them, PreThera Research goal is to make it possible to accelerate the identification of innovative new drugs and bring them to the medical field.

“Oncology is a priority area for Merck and we are dedicated to bringing forward innovations that can make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients with cancer”, said Dr. Thomas R. Cannell, president and managing director, Merck Canada. “This $2-million grant to Q-CROC will support patient-centred research in Québec and ultimately may help bring about advances in oncology care.”