Funding of highly promising RNA-based technologies through the CELLULE

The CELLULE is composed of Axelys, CQDM, Fonds de recherche du Québec, Génome Québec, and Médicament Québec. It leverages the expertise and funding programs of its members to provide continuous support essential for the commercial development of the most promising technologies meeting unmet industrial needs.

In essence, it establishes an agile partnership offering privileged access to a range of programs intended to support all stages of early translational research until the technology is sufficiently de-risked to attract significant private capital, whether for a Series A financing round, commencement of clinical trials, or commercial deployment of a service, depending on financed technologies.

By leveraging an esteemed industrial advisory committee, the CELLULE’s mandate is to:

  1. Launch targeted calls for solutions addressing priority industrial issues in Quebec.
  2. Evaluate and select the most promising technologies.
  3. Validate the development plans for the selected technologies.
  4. Deploy a series of harmonized programs to finance the development of technologies and the creation of businesses where relevant.
  5. Monitor technological advancements and provide support to researchers and entrepreneurs.

Over a period of three years, the CELLULE will launch multiple calls for solutions focused on specific industrial challenges. The entire academic and industrial research community in Quebec will be invited to propose cutting-edge technological solutions capable of addressing the identified industrial needs. These calls for solutions will include detailed specifications outlining the desired parameters and performance indicators for the proposed technologies.

Financing the most promising technologies

The CELLULE will consolidate a suite of programs designed to finance and support the development of selected promising technologies, including the establishment of relevant businesses.
For each selected project, the CELLULE will validate the technological development plan with the guidance of the industrial advisory committee. Depending on the specific needs of each project, the CELLULE will determine the most appropriate funding program. Funding will be administered by the CELLULE member organization overseeing the designated program (the host).

Agility, prompt responses, and collaboration among the CELLULE members will be key success factors for this initiative, so the member organizations of the CELLULE will develop a “fast track” internal process to accelerate the evaluation, initiation, and funding of the projects selected by the CELLULE.

Funding allocation will be contingent upon the attainment of milestones and performance targets outlined in the technology development plan at the time of selection (and periodically reviewed as the project progresses). Should a project veer off course from the advisory committee’s expectations, the CELLULE reserves the right to cease funding. However, if a project progresses as anticipated, CELLULE members will ensure subsequent stages of technological development receive continued support through their respective funding programs. It is understood that the development plan will undergo periodic and rigorous review as the project advances. Any deviation from the expected progress may prompt the CELLULE to terminate funding.

Expected benefits:

This initiative aims to pilot a novel financing model designed to streamline the support of technologies with a significant industrial impact. By adopting a more targeted approach, researchers and companies will be guided to address specific industrial challenges, potentially leading to higher rates of commercial success compared to projects financed through generic calls for projects. Personalized support from seasoned professionals and financial support maximizing the range of programs within in our ecosystem are expected to further enhance project success.

Over a span of three years, we aim to support at least 15-20 projects over 3 years for a total of over $40 million in funding. Of this number, we estimate that 7 to 10 new technologies should emerge, that 7 to 10 companies will be created or will see their position on the market strengthened by this financing program. It is difficult to estimate the investment that will result from these successes, but it seems conservative to expect an additional investment of approximately $20 million by the end of this program.

CELLULE’s first call for solutions

AReNA is pleased to announce the launch of the first CELLULE call for solutions. This new approach to supporting and funding innovations will help accelerate the development of highly promising technologies with the potential to resolve some of the major industrial issues currently limiting the development and use of RNA therapies. The technologies proposed must meet the industrial challenges identified and the minimum performance parameters defined. The deadline for proposals is August 28, 2024. For further information, please contact Alexandre Morizot, Business Development Director,



Discover the CELLULE’s first call for solutions and and learn how this collective, is advancing the most promising RNA therapy innovations in Quebec. This call for solutions offers a unique opportunity for support and funding to propel your RNA therapeutics innovation and address crucial industry challenges. Discover our webinar, hosted by Alexandre Morizot, Director of Business Development at CQDM :


Read the press release