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CQDM and Sanofi Canada partner to accelerate drug discovery


Montreal, QC – Drug discovery research in Canada is receiving a boost with an announcement that CQDM and Sanofi Canada have formed a partnership to support highly innovative research. Sanofi Canada will be contributing up to $500,000 over a period of up to five years to research projects that will positively impact drug discovery and development as well as find concrete solutions to complex medical problems.

“The active involvement of Sanofi Canada, one of the largest investors in innovative biopharmaceutical research in the country, demonstrates the added value of our unique business model and the collaborative environment we offer to world leading pharmaceutical organizations to address the most important challenges of biopharmaceutical research,” says Diane Gosselin, CQDM’s president and CEO. “With now eight pharma members around the table, we are better able to bridge the gap in the innovation chain by leveraging financial investment to reduce risk in research and the development of breakthrough technologies that would not be financed otherwise.”

Sanofi Canada is the newest pharmaceutical member participating in CQDM’s precompetitive research biopharmaceutical consortium. The partnership includes membership in the Explore program, which targets highly innovative breakthrough technologies, in order to enable drug discovery.

“The partnership with CQDM is a great example of how Sanofi is changing the way we approach innovation in R&D,” said Marc Bonnefoi, North America head of R&D with Sanofi. “This partnership aligns with our strategy of ‘open innovation’ – that is, collaborating with external partners to allow for access to the best science in order to accelerate and facilitate drug research.”

In addition to its financial contribution, Sanofi Canada will also provide other support, such as a senior North American representative on the Explore advisory committee, as well as the participation of key scientists in the organization’s mentorship program.

CQDM’s mentorship program creates strong links between researchers funded by CQDM and scientists from CQDM pharma members. Coming mostly from the United States and Europe, the mentors are the ultimate end-users of the tools and technologies being developed under CQDM’s funding. The mentors are well positioned to help researchers better align technologies with industry needs. They provide industry-specific expertise, offer resources to the investigators and sponsor the projects in their respective organizations. To date, close to 80 mentors from around the world have contributed to the development of innovative tools, technologies and platforms.

“The life sciences sector in Canada and in the rest of the world has been dramatically changing. This new environment has created many opportunities for innovative researchers in Quebec and Canada. The involvement of the mentors from our pharma members have helped a great deal in better understanding the paradigm shift in the industry and adapting to it for the benefit of our researchers of today, as well as of tomorrow,” says Diane Gosselin.