The Government of Québec recently announced a $9 million contribution to the Québec Consortium for Drug Discovery (CQDM). Spread over three years, this financial support is aimed at boosting the growth and competitiveness of life sciences technology enterprises, through research and development.
Max Fehlmann, CQDM President and CEO, Minister Clément Gignac, Diane Gosselin, CQDM Vice-President, Research and Business Development, and Henri-François Gautrin, Member of the National Assembly for Verdun and Deputy Government House Leader. Photo: François Desaulniers
The CQDM is the first organization of its kind in Canada. Its mission is to stimulate Québec research in the field of pharmaceutical drug development. By bringing together eminent scientists from the industrial, academic, hospital and government sectors, the CQDM generates synergy between university research and industrial research. This public-private partnership facilitates the creation of better-adapted tools for discovering safer, more effective medications.
According to Clément Gignac, Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, “Biopharmaceutics is one of the most active sectors in terms of research and development. It is an important part of the Québec economy, with over 145 companies and close to 21,000 direct jobs. Via this investment, the Government of Québec is contributing to funding for innovative research projects important for progress in Québec life science technologies.”
The subsidy granted to the CQDM is aligned with Québec’s research and innovation strategy, which is aimed, among other things, at boosting support for industrial research and innovation. The alliance between private enterprises and research centres is one of the cornerstones of the strategy, which favours the development of sectoral industrial research groups in areas like pharmaceutics.
The $9 million contribution comes from a support program for technology development and transfers (PSVT) administered by the Ministère du Développement économique, de l’Innovation et de l’Exportation (MDEIE). The CQDM’s budget for the period from 2009 to 2012 totals $32.5 million. Three pharmaceutical companies, Merck-Frosst, Pfizer and AstraZeneca, are investing $1 million per year in the consortium. Additional funding for the CQDM is provided by the FRSQ (Québec government health research funding agency) and the Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada.
Québec biopharmaceutical industry
Québec research and innovation strategy
Programme de soutien à la valorisation et au transfert – PSVT (in French)