New Target for HIV Immune Therapy and Cure to be Explored by Trans-Atlantic Industry-Academia Collaboration
20 February 2019
Montreal, Canada and London, UK, February 20, 2019. The NEOMED Institute (NEOMED), GlaxoSmithKline Inc. (GSK), the Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM) Research Centre and University College London (UCL) are pleased to announce that they have entered into a strategic collaboration to explore the potential of a newly identified target for HIV immune therapy and cure.
This will be a truly collaborative effort in which all parties will contribute their resources and expertise to the project. A joint steering committee with representation by all parties will oversee all aspects of the research to be conducted in the laboratories of the CHUM Research Centre and UCL during the next two years. Additionally, the project will be funded by both NEOMED and GSK through the NEOMED GSK Discovery Fund established in 2017 and intended to accelerate novel science and technology discoveries emanating from Quebec (Canada) universities and research centres.
“This international collaboration truly reflects NEOMED's mission to help translate innovative scientific ideas into the medicines of the future,” said Donald Olds, President & CEO of the NEOMED Institute.
“By working with others in an open and collaborative way, we can achieve so much more for patients and the life sciences sector than we could hope to do alone,” said Yoo-Seok (YS) Hong, President, Canada Pharmaceuticals, GSK. “We are proud to work in collaboration, along with NEOMED, with two well known academic institutions to help progress the work on a very exciting target with leading researchers in their field.”
The value and potential for this new target for HIV immune therapy and cure was independently identified through different approaches in the laboratories of Dr. Petronela Ancuta at the CHUM Research Centre and Dr. Ariberto Fassati at UCL and became the framework of a well-established collaboration between these two researchers. “Although very preliminary, the evidence that we have been able to generate together suggests the potential ability to significantly decrease HIV replication and persistence,” mentions Dr. Ancuta, Full Research Professor, Immunopathology at the CHUM Research Centre. “We are very encouraged by our work to date and even more so by the belief in and support from both NEOMED and GSK that will help accelerate our further research on this target and its potential impact on HIV,” added Dr. Fassati, Professor, Infection & Immunity at UCL.
About the NEOMED Institute (NEOMED)
The NEOMED Institute is a successful and innovative Canadian not-for-profit R&D organization whose mission is to enable and accelerate the commercialization of life science discoveries. NEOMED Institute operates two complementary and integrated divisions: NEOMED Therapeutics in-licenses promising scientific discoveries from Canadian university centres and research institutes and then funds and develops these programs to stages that are attractive for partnering or stand-alone financing; and NEOMED Innovation Centre operates a world-class life sciences ecosystem in Montreal, Quebec hosting 32 life sciences companies employing over 350 people who operate in our two state-of-the-art R&D centres. The NEOMED Institute is funded by pharmaceutical partners, Quebec’s Ministry of the Economy and Innovation, and the Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada. For more information, please visit: www.neomed.ca
About GlaxoSmithKline Inc. (GSK)
GSK is a science-led global healthcare company with a special purpose: to help people do more, feel better, live longer. Employing approximately 2,000 full time employees across Canada, GSK has two divisional headquarters in Mississauga, Ontario and Laval Quebec, and an administrative office in Quebec City. Since 2001, GSK has invested more than $2 billion in Canadian pharmaceutical and vaccine R&D, ranking it among the top 10 contributors to R&D in Canada across all industries. For further information, please visit www.ca.gsk.com.
About the CHUM Research Centre
The CHUM Research Centre is one of North America’s leading hospital research centres. It strives to improve adult health through a research continuum covering such disciplines as the fundamental sciences, clinical research and public health. Over 1,861 people work at the CHUM Research Centre, including 542 scientists and 719 students and research assistants, please visit: www.chumontreal.qc.ca/crchum
About University College London (UCL)
UCL was founded in 1826. We were the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, the first to open up university education to those previously excluded from it, and the first to provide systematic teaching of law, architecture and medicine. We are among the world's top universities, as reflected by performance in a range of international rankings and tables. UCL currently has over 41,500 students from 150 countries and over 12,500 staff. Our annual income is more than £1 billion.
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