CQDM funds a project to improve the screening of lung cancer with BioMark Diagnostic Solutions, in partnership with AstraZeneca, Pfizer Canada and the IUCPQ Foundation


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MONTREAL, November 30, 2021 – During this Lung Cancer Awareness Month, CQDM is proud to announce that it will co-fund a project driven by Dr Philippe Joubert and Pr. Yohan Bossé at the Quebec Heart and Lung Institute (Institut Universitaire de Cardiologie et Pneumologie du Québec-Université Laval – IUCPQ-UL) targeting a program of early-stage detection of lung cancer. Funding for this collaborative research project is made possible with the financial support of the ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation (MEI) who will be providing $1.36M as part of CQDM’s SynergiQC program.

Totaling $3.5M, the funding also results from an exceptional donation by Mr. Normand Lord (President and CEO, St-Augustin Canada Electric) to the IUCPQ Foundation. The project will be conducted in partnership with Quebec City-based BioMark Diagnostic Solutions and the pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and Pfizer Canada.

Lung cancer is the most lethal cancer among industrialized countries, causing more deaths than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined. Sadly, the disease is usually diagnosed late in its course. The project will enhance current screening programs to facilitate the identification of individuals who would benefit from more invasive tests, such as lung biopsy. An earlier diagnosis will enable to widen patients’ therapeutic options and thus increase the odds of recovery.

The research team will conduct its work based on data and samples from IUCPQ-UL’s biobank and the Lung cancer screening demonstration project led by Dr Simon Martel, pulmonologist at IUCPQ-UL. The new screening tools will combine three types of predictive biomarkers (radiomics, genetics and metabolomics) that will be integrated using artificial intelligence.

\”Through collaborative research, Dr. Joubert\’s project has the potential to revolutionize lung cancer screening and ultimately save many lives. Our government will always be there to support initiatives that advance scientific research and health innovation,\” said Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation and Minister responsible for Regional Economic Development.

“CQDM is eager to fight this widespread disease across the country. By promoting the principles of collaborative research for this project, we hope to combine the expertise from the public and private sectors to find ways to better diagnose lung cancer and offer personalized treatments to cancer patients”, said Diane Gosselin, President and CEO of CQDM.

“This is an important project for BioMark Diagnostic Solutions as we continue developing an innovative technology for the early diagnostic of lung cancer to help at-risk Quebecers get access to an accurate detection test. This study will involve eight hospitals across Quebec with up to 4,000 patients recruited. The results of this demonstration project will enable the creation of a reference framework for the health authorities, so that they can implement an effective lung cancer screening program for at-risk populations”, said Jean-François Haince, General Manager and Chief Scientific Officer of BioMark Diagnostic Solutions.

“Mr. Lord’s exceptional contribution enabled, by providing leverage, to support this innovative and unique project, thus bringing medical hope for treating the number one killer of all cancers. We are extremely proud to be able to rely on the support of generous donators such as Mr. Lord, who support our Foundation to offer a second life, a second breath of oxygen to thousands of people”, explains Josée Giguère, general manager of the IUCPQ Foundation.

“As the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in Canada, it’s absolutely critical that we continue to develop enhanced detection and diagnostic solutions to help Canadian patients identify a potential lung cancer diagnosis as early as possible”, says Mark Sims, Head of Oncology with AstraZeneca Canada. “When detected early, lung cancer patients have more treatment options and a far greater chance of survival. Through this unique Canadian research partnership, our goal is to improve early detection for lung cancer patients – helping Canadians in need to get the right therapies early and have the best shot at successfully fighting this devastating disease.”

“Pfizer Canada is pleased to contribute to this innovative project, which is the result of effective research and clinical collaboration as well as support and funding for Quebec’s vibrant life sciences sector,” said Dr. Vratislav Hadrava, Vice-President and Medical Director, Pfizer Canada. “Accurate screening technology for pulmonary cancer has the potential to lead to more timely and appropriate treatments and help improve patients’ lives.”

About CQDM 

CQDM is a biopharmaceutical research consortium whose mission is to fund the development of innovative tools and technologies that will accelerate the discovery and development of safer and more effective drugs. We bring together world-leading pharmaceutical organizations, several Canadian biotech companies, the best researchers from the public and private sectors, as well as the Canadian and Quebec governments. CQDM’s collaborative approach bridges the funding gap needed to drive innovation across the academic and private sectors, especially where early-stage research is concerned. For more information – Website: www.cqdm.org, LinkedIn and Twitter.

About BioMark Diagnostic Solutions Inc.

BioMark Diagnostic Solutions is a private biomedical analysis laboratory based in Quebec City that develops non-invasive, accurate molecular tests for the early detection of cancer, potentially helping diagnosis, treatment evaluation and monitoring in a non-expensive way. The technology can also be used to measure the response to treatment and, eventually, monitor the cancer survivors.




Philippe Viel
Head – Communications and marketing
M : 514 570-4502

BioMark Diagnostic Solutions Inc.

Jean-François Haince, Ph.D
General Manager & Chief Scientific Officer
T : 418 931-0070

Fondation IUCPQ

Claudie Brisson
Director – Business development and communications
T : 418 956-5372

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