CQDM announces the creation of a biomanufacturing services platform to boost expertise in Quebec and accelerate the development of RNA therapies


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Montreal, June 11, 2024 – CQDM is proud to announce the creation of the RNA Therapy Development and Production Network, which will offer RNA therapy biomanufacturing services to academic and industrial researchers.

Led by the IRCM, McGill University and Sherbrooke University, this Network is one of the five key initiatives of the mobilizing project on RNA therapies announced on April 30 by the Government of Quebec. The aim of this initiative is to strengthen the RNA therapy ecosystem in Quebec and fast-track the province to become a world leader in this field.

The Network will provide a full range of services, from the initial design of RNA therapies to preclinical-scale production, formulation and delivery. Both researchers and companies will be able to benefit from cutting-edge expertise to accelerate the development of their most promising RNA therapies, advancing them more quickly towards clinical trials, and ultimately benefiting patients. It should be noted that the services offered by this new Network will add to the range of services available to quebec businesses, and partnerships are also expected to be forged.

The Network will be based on three complementary platforms at the partner institutions:

  • Sherbrooke University’s RNomic Platform
  • IRCM’s Sidney-Altman RNA Therapeutic Hub
  • Therapeutic messenger RNA platform at McGill University’s Centre for RNA Sciences

All the information on this ambitious initiative, as well as on the other initiatives of the mobilizing RNA project announced on April 30, is available on the AReNA website at: https://arenapole.ca/

“Quebec is fortunate to have world-class researchers developing RNA-based therapies. With projects like this, Quebec will continue to make a mark worldwide in this strategic sector.” Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy, Minister Responsible for Regional Economic Development and Minister Responsible for the Metropolis and the Montreal Region.

Diane Gosselin, President and CEO of CQDM: “This platform is a solid example of the fruitful collaboration between academia and industry in Quebec. It will improve research into RNA therapies and accelerate the development of new treatments for patients.”

“IRCM is the first institution in Quebec to have brought together basic research units and cutting-edge clinics under the same roof, encouraging fruitful synergies and taking discoveries from the laboratory to the patient. So, it’s only natural for us to be a major partner in this network, to keep promoting towards excellence, innovation and the training of the next generation of high-performance scientists for the medicine of tomorrow.” Jean François Côté, President and Scientific Director of IRCM.

“McGill is proud to be an engaged research partner in the Reseau and to work together with universities, industry, and government toward common goals,” said Martha Crago, Vice-President, Research and Innovation. “By leveraging the world-leading expertise connected to our Canada First Research Excellence Fund initiative, DNA to RNA: an Inclusive Canadian Approach to Genomic-based RNA Therapeutics (D2R), and the McGill Centre for RNA Sciences, our researchers will help accelerate innovation in the field.”

About AReNA:

Established through the collaborative efforts of ARN Québec, Axelys, CQDM, and Montréal InVivo, AReNA aims to unite and champion Quebec’s leading players in the RNA therapy sector. Our mission is to position Quebec as a hub of excellence in this field, both nationally and internationally, fostering growth and innovation in the region. Working closely with key stakeholders in Quebec’s RNA sector, AReNA seeks to maximize its impact through strategic collaboration. For more information, please visit: www.arenapole.ca/en

About CQDM:

A biopharma innovation facilitator  
CQDM is a nonprofit biopharmaceutical research consortium whose mission is to support and facilitate multi-party collaborative R&D aimed at accelerating the translation or transformation of innovative technologies into solutions addressing unmet medical needs, while generating significant benefits for the economies of Quebec and Canada. For more information, please visit: www.cqdm.org/en

About IRCM:

IRCM is a world-renowned biomedical research institute located in the heart of Montreal’s university area. Founded in 1967, IRCM was the first research centre in Quebec to bring together basic and clinical researchers under one roof. Considered a unique model at the time, IRCM is now one of the most successful research centres in the country, committed to supporting the next generation of scientists at the highest level.  With 35 laboratories and 7 sub-specialized research clinics run by researchers who are international leaders in their fields, IRCM has made a name for itself in many life science areas, including pioneering work in precision therapies such as RNA-based and monoclonal antibody-based therapies. IRCM also stands out for its research clinics on long Covid and rare adult diseases.

Visit https://www.ircm.qc.ca/en/home for more information.

About McGill University:

Founded in Montreal, Quebec, in 1821, McGill University is Canada’s top ranked medical doctoral university. McGill is consistently ranked as one of the top universities, both nationally and internationally. It is a world-renowned institution of higher learning with research activities spanning three campuses, 12 faculties, 14 professional schools, 300 programs of study and over 39,000 students, including more than 10,400 graduate students. McGill attracts students from over 150 countries around the world, its 12,000 international students making up 30% of the student body. Over half of McGill students claim a first language other than English, including approximately 20% of our students who say French is their mother tongue.

About the Université de Sherbrooke:

The Université de Sherbrooke is in the heart of one of Quebec’s three major research hubs. Known for its sense of innovation, the Université de Sherbrooke is a key partner of senior and regional governments in the promotion of economic, cultural, and social development. It has garnered a reputation due to, among other things, the strong growth in its research activities in recent years, its successes in technology transfers, as well as its initiatives in entrepreneurship and open innovation in collaboration with industry and social milieus.

Media Contact:

Julia Serafino
Coordinator Communications and Marketing
438 543-9498

Discover AReNA, Quebec’s RNA Hub: https://arenapole.ca/en/ and sign up for our newsletter: https://arenapole.ca/en/#newsletter

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