26 November 2012

Merck Canada Invests $12.5 million in Montréal's Life Sciences Research Sector

- Fund three academic and hospital-affiliated research institutions 
- Invest $100 mn over 5yrs in biopharmaceutical R&D in Québec 

Kirkland, QC - 26 November 2012 - Merck Canada announced today that it is reinforcing its commitment to growing Montréal's life sciences basic and translational research sector, by investing $12.5 million to fund research at three prominent university-affiliated and hospital-based research centres. This investment marks the latest contribution by Merck in its 2010 announcement to inject $100 million over five years in biopharmaceutical research and development (R&D) in Québec.

This investment by Merck supports the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), the CHUM Research Centre (CRCHUM) and the Montréal Heart Institute Research Centre (MHI), and their mission of promoting the development of scientific advancements that will improve healthcare. 

"Merck is dedicated to supporting Québec's life sciences community, and we are proud to work in collaboration with the industry, government and academia," said Cyril Schiever, President and Managing Director, Merck Canada. "We believe initiatives like investing in top research institutes that conduct innovative basic and translational research are one of the best ways to improve R&D productivity and stimulate innovation in Québec." 

At a press conference held today in collaboration with Montréal InVivo, the three affiliated and hospital-based research centres receiving contributions thanked Merck Canada for its contribution to the field of basic and translational research and for supporting the professional employment of highly-skilled researchers in Québec. 

"Montreal is a leader in the life sciences research sector in North America thanks to the presence of world-class research institutions such as those who will benefit from today's announcement. Partners like Merck Canada help ensure that future discoveries by local scientists will keep impacting the lives of patients not only in Quebec but around the world," said Martin Leblanc, Vice-Chairman of the Board, Montréal InVivo. 

Today's announcement brings the total Merck investments to date in the province to approximately $60 million. In March, Merck announced a $35 million investment in the Merck Lumira Biosciences Fund, as its primary investor and only pharmaceutical industry partner. The Fund, established by Merck in collaboration with Lumira Capital, Teralys Capital and other partners, provides investment capital to support early stage life science innovation in Québec. Prior to that Merck invested $6.8 million in AmorChem, a Québec life sciences venture capital fund, to increase the commercial potential of quality academic research carried out in Québec, and $5 million in the Québec Consortium for Drug Discovery (CQDM), which funds projects for the development of innovative tools and technologies that accelerate the drug discovery process. 

Source: Merck Canada