CQDM funds an innovative project with Altus Formulation and Tetra Bio-Pharma to develop first-in-class treatments for ocular inflammation


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MONTREAL, April 28 2022 – CQDM is proud to announce the launch of a $5,254,895 project exploring new class of drugs to treat eye pain and blindness. The ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation (MEI) will provide $1,268,682 to the project as part of CQDM’s SynergiQC program which, combined with support from public institutions (Mitacs and NSERC) and Quebec companies, Altus Formulation and Tetra Bio-Pharma, provides the funding to start new preclinical studies.

Chronic ocular inflammation underlies a range of painful and blinding diseases, and new ways to treat inflammation are required. Just two such conditions: Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and uveitis are responsible for over 90% of new cases of blindness in Canada each year and account for more than half a million blind people in Canada today. In addition, 6 million Canadians suffer painful and debilitating dry-eye disease (DED). Treatments for DED are often ineffective and costly, leaving many without hope. The ability to treat these diseases with a simple eye-drop would affect the lives of millions.

Under the leadership of Prof. Sylvain Chemtob, scientists from the CIUSSS de l’Est-de-l’Île-de-Montréal and the research center TransBIOTech (Lévis, Quebec) will form a collaborative research group synergizing the expertise of academic institutions with private and public partners to provide the innovation, scientific excellence and know-how essential to first-in-class medicine development. By combining forces, the team will strive to improve the lives of those at risk of blindness or suffering DED.

To meet this challenge, the team will employ a range of novel anti-inflammatory drugs delivered to the eye by SmartCelle technology, a new micellar drug delivery platform that promotes enhanced drug penetration. When applied to the eye surface, SmartCelle enables the treatment of retinal diseases like AMD with a simple eye-drop.

“In order to develop innovative products, the Quebec life sciences industry must focus on collaborative research. It is essential for our government to support initiatives such as CQDM\’s to accelerate the development of drugs likely to improve the quality of life of the Quebec population\”, said Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation and Minister responsible for Regional Economic Development.

“We are delighted to see this project being initiated, as it involves two promising Quebec companies and is inspired by a model of collaborative research that has been very successful at CQDM. We are very happy to see once again the expertise of the public and private sectors joining forces for the development of a very promising technology”, said Diane Gosselin, President and CEO of CQDM.

“We are honoured to have received this award from CQDM and thank them for their support. To be chosen by our peers in Quebec in this way is very humbling. We look forward to working together with Tetra Bio-Pharma and the rest of the team to develop important new medicines that will change patient’s lives”, said Dr. Damon Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Altus.

“AMD and Dry-Eye Disease represent two conditions with high unmet needs and new drugs, well delivered, are necessary if we are to improve the lives of patients. We are very pleased to have received this award with Altus”, explains Dr. Guy Chamberland CEO of Tetra.

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, 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 please visit: www.cqdm.org, and the CQDM’s pages on LinkedIn et Twitter.

About Altus Formulation Inc.

Altus Formulation is a Quebec-based drug formulation and development company using its proprietary and patent protected drug delivery technologies to generate novel, differentiated and cost-effective new products. Altus’ technologies include SmartCelle micellar technology for delivery of low solubility large and small molecules to the eye Flexitab breakable extended release tablets and MicroSpheres+ for improved bio-availability targeted drug delivery.

About Tetra Bio-Pharma Inc.

Tetra Bio-Pharma (TSX-V: TBP) (OTCQB: TBPMF) is a biopharmaceutical leader in drug discovery and development bringing novel prescription drugs and treatments to patients and their healthcare providers. The Company has several subsidiaries engaged in the development of an advanced and growing pipeline of Bio Pharmaceuticals.

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Diane Gosselin
President & CEO

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