Merck Canada awards $4M to Faculty of Medicine

Posted on Friday, October 4, 2013
(from left to right): Dr. Daniel Bourbonnais, Associate Dean-Research and Scientific Innovation, Université de Montréal; Dr. Philippe Gros, Vice-Dean, Life Sciences, McGill University; Mr. Pierre Duchesne, Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology; and Dr. Thomas R. Cannell, President and Managing Director, Merck Canada Inc.

(from left to right): Dr. Daniel Bourbonnais, Associate Dean-Research and Scientific Innovation, Université de Montréal; Dr. Philippe Gros, Vice-Dean, Life Sciences, McGill University; Mr. Pierre Duchesne, Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology; and Dr. Thomas R. Cannell, President and Managing Director, Merck Canada Inc.

At an announcement made yesterday, at the BioContact Quebec Biopharmaceutical Partnership Symposium, Merck Canada confirmed its commitment to the Quebec life sciences research innovation sector by allocating a total of $16 million in grants to four of Quebec’s university hospital centres: McGill, Université de Montréal, Université de Sherbrooke, and Université Laval. The grant received by each institution will be used to support health research with a translational component conducted in areas of unmet medical need.

“At Merck, we strive to identify and support areas that will have the most effect on fulfilling the unmet needs of patients, who are at the core of everything we do. In addition, we want to contribute to strengthening the life sciences sector in Quebec through research performed by teams of world-class scientists,” said Dr. Thomas R. Cannell, President and Managing Director, Merck Canada. “We believe that with these grants, we have achieved both of these goals.”

Dr. David Eidelman, Vice-Principal (Health Affairs) and Dean of McGill’s Faculty of Medicine said this type of partnership is essential not only to support research, but also to ensure that scientific findings are brought from the bench directly to the bedside as therapeutic interventions for patients.

“As populations age and diseases become increasingly chronic and complex, the health care challenges we face are significant. Collaborations like these are fundamental in advancing the biomedical research being conducted by our outstanding scientists, and in translating their discoveries into better health care for Quebecers,” said Dr. David Eidelman, Vice-Principal (Health Affairs) and Dean of McGill’s Faculty of Medicine. “We are tremendously proud to be partnering with Merck Research Laboratories to bring the benefits of our work to society more swiftly.”

Yesterday’s announcement marks the latest contribution by Merck towards its commitment to inject $100 million over five years in biopharmaceutical R&D in Quebec. To date, Merck’s contributions total some $84 million.

“This announcement proves without a doubt that world-class businesses such as Merck have confidence in Quebec expertise to advance life sciences research,” said Pierre Duchesne, Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology. “It also helps reinforce the collaborative efforts of numerous researchers from Quebec universities. High-calibre scientific research is central to Quebec’s development.”

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