Montreal, Quebec, March 10th, 2022 – CQDM is proud to announce the funding of a project in collaboration with the Centre de recherche de l’Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal (CIUSSS NIM), NanoGene Therapeutics, the Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal Foundation and the Chaire de recherche en orthopédie de l’Université de Montréal. The funding, totalling $333,334, was made possible by a grant of $165,770 from the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation (MEI) du Québec for this project.
The team of Professor Mohamed Benderdour, a researcher in the Department of Surgery at Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal, will develop a non-injectable skin gene therapy to treat psoriasis using a preclinical model of the disease and human skin explants. This chronic disease affects approximately one million Canadians and 125 million people worldwide. It is an inflammatory disease that affects all organs and tissues, but primarily the skin and joints.
The innovation consists of introducing nanovectors complexed with small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) directly into the skin to block the production of inflammatory modulators. The nanovectors thus ensure the targeted delivery of siRNAs to prevent the production of inflammatory factors responsible for psoriasis. The project aims to obtain proof of concept of this technology. Specifically, the project will optimize the pharmacological formulation and confirm the optimal dose and its safety and efficacy.
Following this collaboration, NanoGene Therapeutics will have the opportunity to further develop its nanoparticle-based products and commercialize them for clinical and research applications. The Montreal-based start-up has the potential to contribute to the relief of millions of patients suffering from autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
“In order to be at the forefront of innovation, Quebec must do more to bring its ground-breaking research to market , declared Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of the Economy and Innovation and Minister of Regional Economic Development. The work of Professor Mohamed Benderdour’s along with the marketing of Nanogene Therapeutics will significantly contribute to improving the quality of life of a great many people affected by psoriasis. This illustrates how important it is to support research through commercialization, and to develop breakthrough companies that can change people’s lives for the better.”
According to Diane Gosselin, President and CEO of CQDM, “this project illustrates how CQDM catalyzes scientific innovation. The gene therapy developed by the team to treat psoriasis will indeed move through the first crucial stages of commercial development, which will bring it closer to the ultimate goal of making this treatment a therapeutic reality for the many patients suffering from this inflammatory disease.”
“We thank CQDM and all of our partners for the financial support of our research project. Together with our collaborators, we will develop a new and innovative approach to produce non-viral vectors to target inflammation. This new avenue could help address the unmet therapeutic needs of skin diseases such as psoriasis,” said Dr. Mohamed Benderdour, professor in the Department of Surgery at the Université de Montréal. “The use of chitosan-based polymeric nanoparticles as a means of nucleic acid or drug delivery is one of the best approaches and is beginning to play a key role in the treatment of inflammatory diseases. From a clinical perspective related to psoriasis, a treatment based on the use of polymeric nanoparticles could be done in the future at the very beginning of treatment along with other types of treatments being validated, or in combination to mitigate the effects of inflammation.”
“NanoGene Therapeutics is very pleased and excited to jointly fund Dr. Mohamed Benderdour’s research project with CQDM and the Sacré-Coeur de Montréal Hospital Foundation,” said Dr. Julio Fernandes, Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Montreal and the company’s founder. “Our company’s mission is to become a leader in the field of polymeric nanoparticles. It aims to pave the way for new and unique opportunities for investment, partnership and collaboration in non-viral gene therapy research, innovation and commercialization of products with medical applications.”
For Mr. Bergeron, President and CEO of the Sacré-Cœur de Montréal Hospital Foundation, “The Foundation is proud to collaborate on this innovative project which corresponds to its mission to support the strategic development of the Sacré-Cœur de Montréal Hospital by participating in the financing of initiatives related to research, teaching and the advancement of care.”
CQDM is a biopharmaceutical research consortium whose mission is to fund the development of innovative technologies and tools to accelerate the discovery and development of safer and more effective drugs. It provides a hub where major global pharmaceutical companies, several Canadian biotechnology companies, the best researchers from the public and private sectors, as well as the governments of Quebec and Canada converge. CQDM’s collaborative approach addresses the need for innovation funding in the academic and private sectors, particularly in the early stages of research. Information – Website: cqdm.org, LinkedIn and Twitter
About NanoGene Therapeutics Inc.
NanoGene Therapeutics is a Montreal-based private start-up company spun out of the CIUSSS NIM Research Center, whose mission is to become a leader in the research, development, and commercialization of non-viral vectors for medical applications. The collaborative project with Dr. Benderdour will provide proof of concept on the synthesis, stability, and in vitro transfection protocols, as well as on the physico-chemical properties of nanoparticles in biological medium, their biocompatibility, and their potential use in treating skin diseases.
About the Sacré-Cœur de Montréal Hospital Foundation
The Sacré-Cœur de Montréal Hospital Foundation has donated more than $85 million to the Hospital, which has enabled many departments and services to progress and remain at the forefront of their specialties since its creation in 1976. Through its activities with members of corporate management, government structures and the general population residing in the Hospital’s catchment area, the Foundation contributes to the financing of strategic and developmental projects of the Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal and the Albert-Prévost Mental Health Hospital.
For more information
Diane Gosselin, PhD MBA, President and CEO