CQDM and a group of partners are launching the CELLULE to accelerate the development of RNA therapies in Quebec

San Diego, California – June 3rd, 2024 – CQDM, in collaboration with Axelys, Fonds de recherche du Québec, Génome Québec, and Médicament Québec, announces the launch of the CELLULE, a new model to support and finance the development of promising technologies based on the use of RNA. This announcement is to be made at the BIO conference in San Diego, in the presence of the Minister for the Economy, the Minister responsible for the Fight Against Racism, and the Minister responsible for the Laval region, Mr. Christopher Skeete.

The CELLULE is one of five initiatives included in the mobilization project on RNA announced last April 30th. This mobilization project is supported by funding of $20.3 million from the Government of Quebec.

The CELLULE is a collective of government funding partners who will work closely together to identify, fund, monitor, and support the development of the most promising technologies in select industrial themes, aiming to drive commercial advancements in Quebec across RNA-related fields.

Leveraging a world-class industrial advisory committee, the CELLULE will launch several calls for solutions over a three-year period, inviting Quebec’s academic and industrial community to propose technological innovations that address the most pressing industrial and societal needs. Selected projects that demonstrate their commercial value could receive ongoing funding until they reach the market.

Through this initiative, La CELLULE aims to support at least 15 to 20 projects over three years with investments that could total up to $42 million. This includes $20.3 million from the Government of Quebec, contributions from La CELLULE members, and investments from numerous additional funding partners who will join the initiative. Ultimately, it is estimated that this could lead to the emergence of 7 to 10 new technologies, consolidating Quebec’s position as a global leader in RNA-based therapies.

The CELLULE promises to be a key accelerator and a significant catalyst to overcome challenges hindering the application of RNA-based therapies. For more information on the CELLULE and its programs, please visit arenapole.ca.

Christopher Skeete, Minister for the Economy, Minister Responsible for the Fight Against Racism and Minister Responsible for the Laval Region: “With CELLULE, we’re all working together to develop new RNA technologies and drive this growth sector forward. It’s another tool in our arsenal that we can use to build a strong industry in Quebec.”

Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy, Minister Responsible for Regional Economic Development and Minister Responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal Region: “CELLULE will help coordinate R&D and marketing activities for innovative life sciences projects. Initiatives like this give Quebec international prominence in the field of RNA-based therapies.”

“Axelys is delighted to be part of this promising initiative, which will allow Quebec’s public research to contribute directly to addressing important public health challenges through the transfer and value enhancement of its scientific advances and discoveries. As we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic, the rapid and innovative development of RNA-based treatments opens the door to new therapeutic approaches that can have a significant impact on health, well-being, and population safety, which is an important aspect of Axelys’ mission,” said Jesse Vincent-Herscovici, CEO of Axelys.

Diane Gosselin, CEO of CQDM: “The CELLULE represents a unique opportunity to catalyze innovation and transform scientific discoveries into concrete solutions for patients. By collaborating closely with key industry and research stakeholders, we are confident that we can revolutionize the therapeutic landscape and bring tangible benefits to society.”

Carole Jabet, Scientific Director, Fonds de recherche du Québec – Health sector: “By uniting our strengths and resources, we bring to life a shared vision: to build a dynamic RNA ecosystem in Quebec. We believe that this partnership, based on cutting-edge research and bold entrepreneurship, is key to transforming promising innovations into tangible solutions to address tomorrow’s health challenges.”

Josette-Renée Landry, President and CEO, Génome Québec: “RNA is at the heart of many recent scientific advances, particularly in the field of vaccines and therapeutic treatments. The CELLULE will support cutting-edge research projects and foster collaboration between research teams and industry to accelerate the emergence of innovative solutions in this promising field.”

Arianne Trudeau, Director of Médicament Québec: “Médicament Québec is very proud to collaborate with CQDM and all stakeholders in implementing the CELLULE. This initiative will contribute to strengthening and increasing the autonomy of Quebec’s life sciences ecosystem and createa continuum of support for promising projects in the discovery, development, and production of drugs, vaccines, or messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) utilization technologies.”

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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: arenapole.ca

About Axelys:

Axelys is an organization dedicated to developing and transferring innovations created by public research in Quebec. It promotes the province’s economic and social prosperity by accelerating the development and implementation of high-potential inventions, knowledge, and processes into impactful innovations. Axelys also supports the creation of science-based companies derived from public research.” For more information, please visit: axelys.ca

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: cqdm.org

About the Fonds de recherche du Québec:

Reporting to the Minister of the Economy, Innovation and Energy, the mission of the Fonds de recherche du Québec is to ensure the strategic and coherent development of Quebec research and to support it financially, to support the training of researchers, to establish the partnerships necessary to achieve its mission, to support the mobilization of knowledge and to promote research and science in French. To find out more, visit frq.gouv.qc.ca

About Génome Québec:

Génome Québec’s mission is to catalyze the development and excellence of genomic research, its integration and democratization. As a pillar of Quebec’s bioeconomy, the organization also contributes to social and sustainable development and Quebec’s influence in this field. Funds invested by Génome Québec come from the Ministry of Economy, Innovation and Energy of Quebec (MEIE), the Government of Canada through Genome Canada, and private partners. To learn more about the organization, visit genomequebec.com

About Médicament Québec:

Médicament Québec is a government-funded initiative that unites universities and industry partners to support collaborative and structuring activities focused on drug discovery, development, and production in Quebec. For more information, please visit medicamentquebec.ca

Media Contact:

Julia Serafino
Coordinator Communications and Marketing
CQDM
438 543-9498
jserafino@cqdm.org

Anie Perrault
Special Advisor
MERCURE Conseil
514-700-5550, poste 560
aperrault@mercureconseil.ca