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The Government of Canada invests 15M$ in a public-private partnership to create the Centre of Excellence PreThera Research

January 31, 2014









Media release

For immediate distribution



(Quebec, January 31st, 2014) - Today The Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State (Science and Technology, and Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario) announced a $15 million investment for 5 years in a public-private partnership put forward by the Centre of Excellence PreThera Research, which will specialize in research for precision therapeutic. This new Centre comprises of renowned physicians and researchers from the Province of Quebec and from Canada as well as many life science leaders from the pharmaceutical industry and from SMEs. They jointly invested $17 million for that same period. The objectives of the Centre of Excellence are to contribute significantly to improving the cancer drug development ecosystem, to increase treatment options for patients and to reduce cost burden to the health system, that through the establishment of a prospective database and with molecular profiling of cancer patients' tumours.

It is now well known that most cancers are in fact a multitude of sub-populations of different cancers, all owning a distinct molecular signature.  Of a highly transformative and innovative nature in regards to classic treatment for cancer patients, the new Centre of Excellence wishes to match each patient with their optimal treatment for their very own sub-type of cancer, coupled with a very high probability of success, since targeted and based on biomarkers and specific molecular profiling of the tumour, a principle known as Personalised Medicine.

Funds from the Canadian government and from the private partners will permit realisation of a promising research project aimed on long-term follow-up of patients and molecular profiling of their tumour, and the expansion and reinforcement of a clinical and translational research network of international calibre, and the development of an ethical and legal framework to allow full deployment of Personalised Medicine.

This partnership will permit implementation of state of the art information technologies platforms to bring into standard clinical practice the current use of biomarkers and targeted treatment strategies for cancer patient in order to better equip physicians in their clinical decision making.

The Centre of Excellence PreThera Research, a non-for-profit organisation with its head office located in Quebec City, is, among many things, issued from the vision of the Quebec Clinical Research Organisation in Cancer (Q-CROC) who will be one of the major medical and university partners in this initiative. PreThera Research will be built on solid grounds that comprise of a multidisciplinary and multi-institutional pan-Quebec network of worldwide renowned expertise in cancer research, and of local, national and international collaborations with public and private partners.

All these stakeholders are proud to contribute to the establishment of the first Canadian prospective database including molecular and clinical data of cancer patients.


About the Network of Centres of Excellence

The Networks of Centres of Excellence, which manages the BL-NCE program, operates a suite of national funding programs on behalf of the three federal granting agencies—the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)—in partnership with Industry Canada and Health Canada. NCE programs support large scale, multi-disciplinary collaborations between universities, industry, government and not-for-profit organizations, which focus Canada’s research capacity on economic and social challenges, help commercialize and apply research breakthroughs, increase private-sector R&D by transforming ideas from the laboratory into solutions, and train highly qualified people.

About PreThera Research

The Business-Led Network of Centres of Excellence in Precision Therapeutics (PreThera Research) will help develop cancer treatments that are increasingly personalized for patients by combining the latest discoveries in cancer biology with new approaches to clinical trials. The network’s research program will take advantage of the current understanding that almost all tumours can be divided into smaller groups with a unique biomarker – a molecular signature that can be targeted by a specific drug. Using a growing database that identifies these biomarkers and the patients that have them, PreThera Research will make it possible to accelerate the identification of innovative new drugs and bring them to the medical field. This will be accomplished by identifying patients that are are most likely to respond to a precise treatment for their greater benefit and that of the Life Science Industry and the health care system.

About the Quebec – Clinical Research Organization in Cancer (Q-CROC)

Q-CROC is a provincial interface for clinical research, bridging the gap between industry, government, healthcare establishments and the research community. To address the increasingly competitive landscape for clinical research, the Q-CROC facilitates an environment for sharing knowledge, needs and strengths, thereby enticing the conduct of studies in the province and providing patients with access to new innovative treatments. Complementary to this activity, the Q-CROC provides a niche of expertise in the discovery and validation of biomarkers to predict the response or resistance to treatment. By these engagements, the Q-CROC aims to position the province of Québec at the national and international forefront of personalized medicine in cancer, so that patients can access the most cutting-edge treatments.

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Source / for more information, please contact :

Thérèse Gagnon-Kugler, PhD

Chief executive officer

418.525.4444 ext.24677



For a list of the partners associated with PreThera Research, please see the About Us/Partners section of the website.