Outside the box in neuroscience: CQDM and Brain Canada partner to fund breakthrough technologies to accelerate drug discovery


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From left to right : Diane Gosselin, President and CEO of CQDM, Rémi Quirion, Quebec’s Chief Scientist, Samuel David, President of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience and Inez Jabalpurwala, President and CEO of Brain Canada

CQDM and Brain Canada launched a new funding program that will provide at least $10 million to support the development of innovative tools, technologies and platforms to accelerate the discovery of new, safe and effective drugs for disorders of the brain and nervous system. This exciting initiative was announced today at the annual meeting of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience in the presence of Rémi Quirion, Quebec’s Chief Scientist, Diane Gosselin, President and CEO of CQDM and Inez Jabalpurwala, President and CEO of Brain Canada.

The partnership program named “Focus on Brain” intends to bridge the gap in neuroscience by supporting innovative translational research with tangible results that impact the drug discovery process, with the ultimate goal to prevent, treat or cure neurological or mental health disorders for the benefit of patients and their families. The program aims to foster multidisciplinary research collaborations linking Quebec and other Canadian researchers, as well as the academic and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). This program also hopes to develop strong collaborations between academic researchers and the pharmaceutical industry through CQDM’s unique mentorship program which brings industrial expertise and support to the projects and helps better align the research with the needs of the industry.

“We are delighted to partner with Brain Canada to launch our second pan-Canadian funding initiative to engage the best researchers throughout Canada in translational research, this time in the field of neuroscience,” said Diane Gosselin. “The drug discovery process in neuroscience is paved with major hurdles. Brain Canada’s footprint in brain research, as well as its strong presence in Canada, are crucial elements to the success of this new funding initiative. I am also very pleased to mention the intention of the Ontario Brain Institute (OBI) to join us in this novel funding initiative in the very near future.”

“We are delighted to partner with CQDM on this major funding program which will leverage our respective expertise and networks. Through this program, Brain Canada will have an opportunity to work more closely with the pharmaceutical industry as well as to foster collaborations with academia and SMEs in translational research. Our joint investment in Canada’s world-class brain research will contribute to accelerating the search for better outcomes for the 1 in 3 Canadians impacted by brain disorders,” said Inez Jabalpurwala.

“There are significant unmet medical needs throughout the world with regards to brain disorders and the challenges are great. Neuroscience research in Quebec and Canada is strong. I very much welcome this new funding initiative between CQDM and Brain Canada which will link Quebec’s expertise in neuroscience to other initiatives in Canada for the development of novel biopharmaceuticals to treat brain disorders, thereby bringing better cures to patients. This program will also allow Quebec and Canadian researchers to engage further in international initiatives related to drug discovery and drug development in the field of neuroscience”, said Rémi Quirion.

Request for applications

The program is now open to applications. Applicants have until August 20 th, 2014 to submit their Letters of Intent. For more information on the program, please visit CQDM’s and Brain Canada’s websites at: www.cqdm.org and www.braincanada.ca.

About CQDM

CQDM is a pharma-based consortium active in pre-competitive research whose mission is to fund the development of innovative tools and technologies to accelerate drug discovery. Unique in the world, CQDM’s business model is based on a collaborative approach where all stakeholders share the costs of biopharmaceutical research and benefit from its results. CQDM also provides a meeting ground where academia, governments, and the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries converge to address numerous complex medical challenges. CQDM receives financial support from Pfizer Canada, AstraZeneca, Merck, Boehringer Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly Canada, Novartis Pharma Canada, as well as from Quebec’s ministry of Economy, Innovation and Exportations (MEIE) and the Federal government’s Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence program (BL-NCE). For more information, visit us at www.cqdm.org.

About Brain Canada

Brain Canada is a national non-profit organization headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, that enables and supports excellent, innovative, paradigm-changing brain research in Canada. For more than one decade, Brain Canada has made the case for the brain as a single, complex system with commonalities across the range of neurological disorders, mental illnesses and addictions, brain and spinal cord injuries. Looking at the brain as one system has underscored the need for increased collaboration across disciplines and institutions, and a smarter way to invest in brain research that is focused on outcomes that will benefit patients and families.

Brain Canada’s vision is to understand the brain, in health and illness, to improve lives and achieve societal impact. Brain Canada is achieving its vision by:

  • Increasing the scale and scope of funding to accelerate the pace of Canadian brain research;
  • Creating a collective commitment to brain research across the public, private and voluntary sectors;
  • Delivering transformative, original and outstanding research programs.

The Canada Brain Research Fund

The Canada Brain Research Fund is a public-private partnership designed to encourage Canadians to increase their support of brain research, and maximize the impact and efficiency of those investments. Brain Canada has committed to raising $100 million from private and non-governmental sources, which will be matched by government on a 1:1 basis. The Fund was announced in federal budget 2011, which proposed to “allocate up to $100 million to establish the Canada Brain Research Fund, which will support the very best Canadian neuroscience, fostering collaborative research and accelerating the pace of discovery, in order to improve the health and quality of life of Canadians who suffer from brain disorders.”

For more information, visit us at www.braincanada.ca.


Julie Martineau
Senior Director, Communications and Corporate Development, CQDM
Tel.: (514) 766-6661, ext. 2198

Haifa Staiti
Manager, Research Programs, Brain Canada
Tel.: (416) 388-4065

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