Lab Canada

$4M partnership to study personalized medicine in oncology

Moncton, NB – The Exactis Innovation Personalize My Treatment (PMT) research initiative is receiving $2 million in funding from Merck, along with $1 million each from the Cancer Research Society (CRS) and the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation (NBHRF).


“The Exactis vision is to build a Canadian Centre of Excellence in Cancer Precision Therapeutics,” said Dr. Gerald Batist, co-founder and scientific director of Exactis Innovation and of Q-CROC and director, Segal Cancer Centre at the Jewish General Hospital. “This project takes a giant step forward today with the partnership of New Brunswick’s medical scientific community, and with the participation of patients here. Together we will accelerate discoveries and expand treatment opportunities so that we can really make a difference.”


The PMT initiative will consist of engaging cancer patients to create a comprehensive cancer database of tissue samples, genomic data and clinical data from the cancer patient population. Its main goal is to match patients to available clinical trials based on the molecular profile of their cancer and defined study inclusion criteria.


With support from Merck, the CRS and the NBHRF, the PMT initiative plans to expand its platform throughout Atlantic Canada, starting with the ACRI in New Brunswick. This will effectively increase the institute’s patient recruitment pool, broaden its molecular profiling capacity and strengthen its IT capabilities.


“As a founding partner of the Exactis PMT initiative, the Cancer Research Society is pleased to be part of this innovative personalized medicine project, co-funded with NBHRF and Merck for the benefit of all Canadian cancer patients,” said Andy Chabot, president and CEO, CRS.


“This collaboration between three funders – a pharmaceutical company, a national health charity and a provincial health research foundation – is concrete evidence that a team effort is necessary to deliver better healthcare to cancer patients,” said Dr. Bruno Battistini, president, CEO and scientific director of the NBHRF.


“This contribution reaffirms Merck’s commitment to developing cutting-edge treatments for Canadians living with cancer,” said Chirfi Guindo, president and managing director, Merck Canada Inc. “When we bring leading research institutions across Canada together, including established hubs such as the Atlantic Cancer Research Institute (ACRI) in New Brunswick, we can more effectively respond to promising discoveries in cancer research.”