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NRC immunologist receives funding to research asthma drug


Charlottetown, PEI, and Montreal, QC – Merck Frosst Canada is funding an asthma-related project initiated by the National Research Council of Canada (NRC). Earlier this year, Merck Frosst approved a proposal by a Charlottetown-based immunologist at the NRC Institute for Nutrisciences and Health. Under the direction of Dr Marianna Kulka, the pre-clinical pediatric asthma study is expected to wrap up by December 2008.

“NRC’s relationship with Merck Frosst is an example of our strategy to unite public and private research strengths as we put science to work for Canada,” says Dr Pierre Coulombe, NRC President. “By teaming up with biopharmaceutical leaders like Merck Frosst, NRC can further innovate to help improve human health, including the health of Canadian children.”

More than half a million Canadian children have asthma. Through Merck Frosst’s Investigator Initiated Study Program, NRC will receive nearly $76,000, including a supply of the study medication montelukast, to conduct a pre-clinical research project relating to pediatric asthma. Canadian scientists at the Merck Frosst Centre for Therapeutic Research in Montreal discovered the study drug montelukast.

“Partnering with the scientists from the National Research Council will foster synergy that will help better understand the pathophysiology of childhood asthma,” says Dr Michel Cimon, medical director, Merck Frosst Canada. “Through research projects such as this one, Merck Frosst is committed to working closely with Canadian renowned scientists like Dr Kulka.”