NEOMED and Mitacs announce first partnership project

Montreal, October 2, 2014 – NEOMED, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to serve as a bridge between academic research and the pharmaceutical industry, along with Mitacs, an organization developing the next generation of innovators in Canada, are announcing the selection and launch of the first project in their strategic partnership. 

The selected project is from the laboratory of Dr. Donald Poirier at Laval University in Quebec and focuses on identifying a new anti-cancer candidate molecule in the aminosteroid family for development as a potential drug.

“There is a tremendous need to discover new drugs that are more effective against cancer cells, but don’t affect healthy ones,” says Dr. Philippe Walker, Scientific Director at NEOMED. “That’s why we find Dr. Poirier’s approach very appealing and promising. We’d like to explore with him the potential of finding a new way to treat cancer and we’ll continue with this project if the results are positive,” he adds.

“We’re going to single out a new candidate molecule from the aminosteroid family and test its action on two treatment-resistant (refractory) cancers such as ovarian and pancreatic cancer. The preliminary results are very encouraging because they suggest that this group of compounds attacks cancer cells exclusively and spares healthy cells. NEOMED and Mitacs’ support is very important at this stage. It will help us better understand these candidate molecules’ mechanisms of action and define more clearly the therapeutic target involved,” says Dr. Donald Poirier.

“We’re very happy to see that Dr. Poirier’s project works in an area that is so important to the public and that the proposal will enable a quick assessment of the potential of these new therapeutic molecules,” says Jesse Vincent-Herscovici, Senior Account Manager at Mitacs. “Our partnership with NEOMED helps fund research projects that are still in the early stages of development. We are able to add value by assigning postdocs, which enables the partner to make significant progress.”

Dr. Poirier’s project is a part of the program put in place by NEOMED and Mitacs to fund the evolution of projects for the development of drugs with a strong potential that could in the future enhance NEOMED’s portfolio. The two organizations encourage research teams in Quebec to submit their ideas and project proposals for drug development.


About NEOMED and NEOMED Institute

NEOMED is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to foster the development of promising therapeutic approaches emerging from academia and biotechnology companies. NEOMED supports the development of projects up to the stage of human proof-of-concept. NEOMED is jointly funded by the pharmaceutical industry and the Ministère de l’Économie, de l’Innovation et des Exportations du Québec.

NEOMED operates within the NEOMED Institute, a high-tech research and development centre located at Technoparc Montréal. NEOMED Institute acts as an open-access drug discovery hub, housing commercial companies and offering a unique environment to nurture collaboration, innovation and creativity.

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