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$3M challenge to spur innovations in drug-enabling technologies


Toronto, ON – Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and the Québec Consortium for Drug Discovery (CQDM) are teaming up with Life Sciences Ontario and BiopolisQuébec to advance pharmaceutical research in the two provinces. OCE and CQDM are leading a $3 million inter-provincial initiative called the OCE-CQDM Life Sciences R&D Challenge. The initiative will support industry-academic collaborations with the goal of developing innovative tools and technologies to improve and accelerate the drug discovery process.

The initiative builds on an existing two-year-old partnership called the Ontario-Québec Life Sciences Corridor initiative.

“This initiative will help build a competitive advantage for the sector in both provinces by combining resources and strengths across the Ontario-Québec Life Sciences Corridor,” said Dr. Tom Corr, president and CEO of OCE. “This will not only help lead to new products but pave the way for new and unique opportunities for investments, partnerships and collaborations.”  

The initiative is also funded in part by the Ontario government’s Collaboration Voucher program.  

OCE and CQDM will support up to four qualified projects (lasting up to three years) which undertake biopharmaceutical research leading to improvements in drug discovery technologies. The challenge is not funding new drug discovery, rather the development of cutting-edge technologies with strong and immediate impact on drug discovery.  

OCE and CQDM will each provide $125,000-$150,000 per project (up to $500,000 each in total) with industry partners contributing another $500,000-$600,000 per project (up to $2 million in total). The two organizations are also hosting an industry-academic partnering forum on November 28 to solicit project proposals and to provide a networking opportunity for potential collaborators.

“We strongly believe that this newly launched program will build powerful private/public relationships across the Ontario-Québec Life Sciences Corridor” said Diane Gosselin, president and CEO at CQDM. “This program launch is in-line with our believe that partnerships are essential to support disruptive technology that really will make a difference in delivering cost effective, safe and innovative-based medications to patients.”