On behalf of the Minister of Economic Development, Innovation, and Export Trade Clément Gignac, Chomedey MNA Guy Ouellette was pleased to announce a $697,950 research grant awarded to Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS).
This funding will make possible a Phase 1−2A clinical study targeting a potential new treatment for lung cancer patients. The study will assess the efficacy and safety of an anti-cancer drug combination discovered by a team led by professor Michel Charbonneau of the INRS–Institut Armand-Frappier Research Centre.The grant announced today, provided under the Technological Maturation Support Program (Programme de soutien à la maturation technologique), and part of the 2012−13 Quebec Research and Innovation Strategy (QRIS), will make a significant contribution toward project costs evaluated at over $1.7 million.
“There is a pressing need to develop new and better management strategies to counter the devastating effects of lung cancer. This project also demonstrates the quality and expertise of Quebec’s researchers and specialized research institutes. By providing funding for scientific leadership initiatives, the Government of Quebec aims to promote Quebec research and the transfer of Quebec knowledge internationally. Funding for the INRS project is coming together thanks to our 2010-2013 Quebec Research and Innovation Strategy (QRIS), which also aims to improve the province’s performance in innovation and enhance our competitiveness,” added Minister Gignac.
Research will be conducted with lung cancer patients to determine optimal dosages and to monitor possible side effects. Data collection is an essential step in obtaining approval from government regulatory authorities and in unlocking the commercial potential of this therapy that has already been fine-tuned in a university setting.
The study has already yielded highly promising results: researchers have observed that the combination of two recognized anticarcinogenic molecules, genistin and 5-AZA-CdR, leads to a significant reduction in the spread of lung, breast, and colon cancers and even in some cases of leukemia. This new combination has also proven effective in attacking chemotherapy-resistant cells especially common in lung cancer patients.
“This Quebec government funding is a definite asset,” said principal investigator Michel Charbonneau. “It will encourage businesses to team up with universities by investing in a research and development project. In our case, the funding will allow us to move our research beyond the realm of laboratory science to a more effective cancer treatment. Our hope is that this treatment will not only prolong patients’ lives, but also improve their quality of life. This government support is essential to position ourselves at the forefront of lung cancer research.”
INRS Director General Daniel Coderre stressed that “this project, which will enable us to develop a new cancer therapy, demonstrates the importance given by our university not only to fundamental research but also to knowledge transfer, two crucial and inseparable parts of the process of developing new and innovative solutions to issues of national and international concern.”
The Team and its Partners
The therapy was developed by a team led by Professor Michel Charbonneau of INRS, a specialist in the study both of the mechanisms of the chemicals involved in cancer formation and of the way in which they act. Other team members include Professor Richard Momparler, an expert in epigenetic anticancer agents; Louise Momparler, who studied the 5-AZA-CdR molecule in children with leukemia and lung cancer patients; and Noël Raynal, M.D., currently a postdoctoral fellow the world-leading MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas.
The project was made possible by the invaluable cooperation of Uman Pharma, an up-and-coming Quebec pharmaceutical company specializing in the commercialization and manufacture of injectable cytotoxic products, and DSM Nutritional Products, a subsidiary of the multinational DSM. The project also relies on the generous support of Valeo Management L.P.
About the Funding
Funding for this project is being provided by the Government of Quebec under the Technological Maturation Support Program (Programme de soutien à la maturation technologique)component of the Valorization and Transfer SupportProgram (Programme de soutien à la valorisation et autransfert), a part of the2010−2013 Quebec Research and Innovation Strategy (QRIS) announced on June 28, 2010. The program seeks to the needs of both university and college-level postsecondary institutions, public institutions, and a number of nonprofit organizations that play a role in the commercialization of research results and in knowledge transfer. The financing also meets needs encountered during the initial phases preceding commercialization, before the business or organization has been able to develop a practical application for research results.
About the Quebec Research and Innovation Strategy (QRIS)
Titled Mobilize, Innovate, Prosper, the 2010−2013 Quebec Research and Innovation Strategy (QRIS) seeks to implement a major public research funding restructuration in order to strengthen scientific leadership in Quebec, establish a concerted vision of its development, better position Quebec research, and help make this research’s impact felt worldwide.
Given that highly qualified personnel is crucial to Quebec’s current and future prosperity, the Strategy aims to increase the size of the labor force, promote entrepreneurship, and attract the best and brightest to Quebec. It will help accelerate innovation, spur product development, and mobilize stakeholders to better position Quebec businesses in key markets. The Quebec Research and Innovation Strategy is unwavering in its commitment to a green economy, the economy of tomorrow.
The strategy means that between 2006 and 2013 the Government of Quebec will invest more than $2.3 billion, for a total investment of approximately $11.5 billion, including tax credits and the core budgets of government ministries.
About Valeo Management L.P.
Valeo Management L.P. is a limited partnership whose mission is to provide its limited partners in the university sector, and associated organizations, with additional expertise and financial resources for the commercialization of promising technologies. Valeo Management’s partners include the member universities of the Université du Québec network (Université du Québec à Montréal, École de Technologie Supérieure, Université du Québec à Rimouski, Université du Québec en Abitibi Témiscamingue, Université du Québec en Outaouais, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières) and Concordia University.
About Uman Pharma
Uman Pharma is a fully-integrated pharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures, and markets generic injectable pharmaceutical products. Uman Pharma is the only oncology plant in Canada featuring freeze drying and pre-filled syringe capacity. The company also provides a wide range of services from development to the manufacture of drugs for international partners for clinical and commercial purposes. Uman Pharma’s dedicated, experienced team is committed to offering top quality healthcare products, effective injectable cytotoxic drugs, and innovative solutions that benefit health professionals in the hospital sector.
About DSM Nutritional Products
DSM Nutritional Products, a subsidiary of DSM, is the world’s leading supplier of vitamins, carotenoids, and other fine chemicals for the feed, food, pharmaceutical, and personal care industries. The business has sales of over EUR 2 billion and a long tradition as a pioneer in the discovery of new products, new formulations, and attractive applications for all industry segments. For further information refer to the company’s websites: www.dsmnutritionalproducts.com and www.qualityforlife.com.